Hoping to make the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee more accountable to students, the Yale College Council ratified the UOFC bylaws Sunday to make the UOFC a YCC-affiliated committee. The Yale College Dean’s Office is now reviewing the revised bylaws.
The new bylaws bringing the YCC and UOFC closer together are aimed at ensuring responsibility and student input in the funding process, UOFC Chair Elliott Mogul ’05 said. The new bylaws will also change how the UOFC budget is set. This year, UOFC members requested additional funds from the Dean’s Office in the middle of the year after the organization spent nearly all of its budget early in the year.
The bylaw changes also define the responsibilities of UOFC members and establish an office of UOFC secretary.
“In the past, the [UOFC] was too loosely run,” said Matthew Harsha-Strong ’06, a YCC representative and newly titled UOFC secretary, who co-wrote the bylaws. “The only bylaws used were the ones on the Web and were too brief. Elliott came in and saw the need for reform.”
Harsha-Strong, who will run for UOFC chair in next month’s elections, said the Committee on Undergraduate Organizations had always intended for the UOFC to become part of the YCC.
Though Harsha-Strong said the UOFC is “no longer under the auspices” of the Committee on Undergraduate Organizations, the UOFC will still maintain regular contact with the Dean’s Office to communicate about the budget.
“The YCC — as a conduit for student opinions — will design the final [budget] proposal,” Harsha-Strong said.
The YCC president will now be involved in the UOFC as an ex-officio member with no voting rights on the committee.
“The responsibilities and powers of the UOFC are finally written out,” Mogul said.
Instead of approving a typical 3 percent increase in funding every year, the UOFC and Yale administration will review the UOFC’s budget annually, Mogul said.
Mogul said the UOFC will also seek to begin purchases of capital equipment, rather than waste money on repeated rentals. Then, organizations would have to pay less to rent University-owned equipment, Mogul said.
“For example, let’s say a group wants money for a lighting rental. We will buy a piece of lighting equipment that organizations could rent from the Dean’s Office,” Harsha-Strong said.
Mogul said Assistant Dean of Yale College Edgar Letriz was extremely helpful in the reform process and made several suggestions for UOFC reform, such as the capital equipment decision.
Mogul said one of the new policies would be interviewing new organizations when they request funding.
“Sometimes an organization pops up and they want $600 — and we have no idea what they do,” Mogul said.
Under the new bylaws, the UOFC Secretary will be appointed by the chair and serve one term. There is no limit to the number of terms to which the secretary may be appointed.