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The Carletonian

CSA treasurer candidates divided over issue of budget priorities, Sproncert funding

One of the CSA treasurer’s main responsibilities is working with  student organizations who are requesting funding and determining how to balance the CSA budget. CSA treasurer candidates Jamie Klein ’25 (the current CSA treasurer) and Asher Stolberg ’25 have differing views of how to prioritize different activities with the budget that the CSA has, with Klein wanting to prioritize student organization-run events and Stolberg wanting to prioritize campus-wide events. 

 

“[The] individual events that… people put [work] into… and the community that those types of events create, [are] more important to me personally than events like Sproncert,” said Klein when asked how they would prioritize allocating money if needed. “Obviously, Sproncert will still get funded, that’s still a priority for everyone. This might be a little bit of an unpopular opinion, it’s just that I would rather spend a little less money on the headliner, and get every club the right amount of funding to be able to host events.”

 

In response to the same question, Stolberg said: “In a situation with limited funding, my priority would be events that have a broad and inclusive impact on the student body. I believe in supporting events that foster a sense of community and cater to diverse interests. Additionally, I would explore creative fundraising solutions and collaborations to supplement the budget. I would ask the student body which events are most important to them, and take their input into account as well.”

 

Klein also spoke to what students are likely to want, saying, “When you look at the budget, the Sproncert budget is huge. It’s a huge percent of the CSA budget. I don’t want to reduce the Sproncert budget to like $10,000. I think that when people can see everything that people request, and everything that Sponcert is, most people would rather have their full club’s budget than contribute 20% of their club’s budget to a slightly cooler Sproncert headliner.”

 

Stolberg is running on a ticket with CSA presidential candidate Zach Gordon ’25 and CSA vice presidential candidate Sam Zacks ’25, both of whose platforms include increasing the funding for Sproncert. When asked about this, Stolberg said: “While evaluating the Sproncert budget, I would consider the overall impact on the student body. I aim to strike a balance between increasing the budget to enhance the event and ensuring responsible financial management. I will engage with student feedback, assess the event’s historical significance, and work collaboratively to find a solution that aligns with the collective interests of the student body. I know that this is one of the best days of the year for a lot of students at Carleton, so I think it’s important that we continue to fund the event, and possibly even make it better.”

 

An note about Sproncert funding is that the CSA has not historically provided the full amount of funding that Sproncert requests because, according to current CSA President (and former CSA Treasurer) Quinn Buhman ’24, it would not be possible for the CSA to balance its budget otherwise. Neither candidate for treasurer specifically referred to this — Klein suggested that they would consider reducing the amount the CSA spends on the Sproncert headliner and Stolberg suggested increasing the amount the CSA spends on Sproncert. 

 

Klein also said that they would focus on “trying to prioritize events that benefit the students to a proportional amount. Sometimes events can be really expensive for a smaller amount of students and sometimes those seem like they’re really worth it. And, other times… if it’s a matter of determining which one gets funded, I think it is a priority to have events that are on campus that can benefit as many students as possible [so] that the cost per student is a bit lower. Even if those are small clubs, it’s not necessarily that small clubs get disadvantaged through this, it’s just that the proportional amount, I think, needs to be considered a little bit more than we currently do.”

 

The CSA also recently changed how it funds cultural organizations. Cultural organizations are student organizations that the CSA designates as cultural, exempting them from many funding restrictions, such as that student organizations usually cannot purchase food using CSA money. Now, instead of designating certain organizations as cultural, the CSA Budget Committee will instead look at events and determine whether they should qualify for funding as a cultural event on a case-by-case basis. How this is implemented will depend in large part on the CSA treasurer and other executives, as well as the Budget Committee.

 

Klein’s platform has four main points: “communication with the student body,” “working with OIL and the Cultural Org Programming Board in light of the new Cultural Event Funding Guidelines,” organizing the CSA Budget,” [and] prioritizing students. They told The Carletonian they are running for CSA treasurer because they have “really enjoyed the last few terms as treasurer” and seeing the behind the scenes work. “I want to be able to continue a lot of the work that I’m doing because the CSA is in the midst of quite a few changes with Workday, with the cultural orgs, and we’re changing the guidelines. So, I really want to finish these changes I’ve been a part of,” Klein said. Klein is the incumbent, and was elected as CSA treasurer in an uncontested special election last Spring Term. 

 

They also said they would like to prioritize making sure students know what CSA is doing with their money.

 

Stolberg’s platform discusses “enhancing the student experience by allocating funds to school-wide events that cater to diverse interests.” “I believe in the power of community and aim to use the treasurer role to bring our student body closer together through memorable and enjoyable events,” he wrote as part of his “Vision for the Treasurer Position.” His main points are: “financial management,” “communication and transparency,” “collaboration and teamwork” and “innovation and improvement.”

 

“I am running for CSA because I am passionate about contributing to the vibrant and inclusive community at Carleton College,” Stolberg told The Carletonian. “I believe in the power of effective financial management to enhance the student experience. I feel as though I have made a lot of special connections with a lot of different students here at Carleton, and I thought this position would give me the ability to listen to what my peers want and try to provide it for them.”

 

The Carletonian is covering the election for CSA treasurer separately from the other executive elections because it is the only executive election where platforms directly contradict each other. As such, the Carletonian wants to provide more context to ensure the accuracy of its coverage and to limit article length to more fully cover as many elections as possible.

 

Becky is currently the President of the Jewish Students of Carleton. She was also the Office of Accessibility Resources Liaison on the CSA Senate in the 2022-2023 academic year and a member of the Budget Committee in the 2021-2022 academic year.

 

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About the Contributor
Becky Reinhold, Editor in Chief
I'm a junior Philosophy major, and I can usually be found in the basement of Anderson or wandering around Northfield. I like thunderstorms and writing articles around 2am. Becky was previously Managing Editor, Viewpoint Editor, and Design Editor.

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