News, University News

UFB hopes to fill four open positions

Four at-large positions remain open, current representatives emphasize importance of filling board

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Undergraduate Finance Board will seek to fill four open at-large representative positions in the fall semester through special elections, said incoming vice chair of the board Julian De Georgia ’20.

Four students ran for the eight available at-large representative positions in March, when elections for UFB and the Undergraduate Council of Students occurred, leaving the remaining positions unfilled. “Having a full board (is) really important just because there are a lot of student groups that we are responsible for, and every student group deserves the attention of a UFB (representative),” De Georgia said.

Three positions on this year’s board were filled through an internal election at UCS’ third general body meeting in early October, while five were filled through the student body election the previous spring. After one representative left the board at the end of the fall semester, the board continued through the spring with only seven representatives, De Georgia said.

Representatives contribute to discussions on how to allocate funds to student groups, according to De Georgia. The student activities fee, which all students pay in addition to their tuition, comprises UFB’s budget.

“The other part of the (representative) role is meeting with student groups and helping them understand our policies and helping them build effective budgets,” with each representative typically responsible for between 20 and 25 student groups, De Georgia added.

Having a full board fosters “diversity of opinion,” said UFB representative Alesandro Walker ’20, who will also be on the board next year. “Having more people definitely helps to make sure that … we’re not all saying the same things and then possibly making decisions that don’t represent the opinions of the Brown student body,” he added.

Further, filling the eight positions ensures that representatives can effectively fulfill all of their responsibilities. With a significantly increased workload, “I wouldn’t necessarily be the best (representative) to every single (group) because I’m so worried about all of them,” Walker said.

UFB representative Daryl Polk ’19, who was elected in this year’s special election​ and will continue to serve on the board next year​, echoed these sentiments. Having a full board ensures that “the responsibility isn’t on such a small group of people” and that “the power of where the money goes isn’t on such a small group of people,” she said.

During their campaigns, both De Georgia and Lisa Schold ’19, chair-elect of UFB, emphasized the importance of increasing student engagement with the board.  To this end, De Georgia said he and Schold are planning to engage in a “general publicity campaign” and to have a table for UFB at the activities fair for the first time in De Georgia’s memory.

By “printing signs, putting those all around campus, potentially table slipping, definitely emailing different centers around campus and then just also reaching out to people we think might be interested,” De Georgia said they will work to find candidates to fill the four positions.

​The open spots give first-year​s the opportunity to join the board, as De Georgia did in his first semester at the University. “It’s definitely something that freshmen can do, (and) we would love to have freshmen involved,” he said.

De Georgia anticipates that the positions will be filled in special elections. “I don’t think we’ll have any problems,” he said.