EC emergency funding attempts to fill gaps

Specific figures are not public yet, but three organizations usually take the bulk sum of funds

Claire Hamlet, Staff Writer

The Washington and Lee University Executive Committee’s fall emergency budget allocations just took place in October.

The specific figures for this year have not yet been made public, but large organizations like Fancy Dress Committee, Mock Convention, and the General Activities Board historically have taken a large share of the funds.

Executive Committee budget allocations occur three times a year. The first is during Spring Term, before the start of the fiscal year. Executive Committee Student Organization Liaison Diya Shreenath, ‘24, said that the spring session of allocations is when organizations present their projected costs for the entire year.

“Fall and winter are really supposed to be for an emergency,” Shreenath said. “Fall is like, ‘we had some mishaps, we need a little bit of extra money,’ or, ‘we have this new, great idea, but we just need a bit of extra funding to make this work.’”

In practice, many organizations strategically divide their requests across the three allocation sessions.
“We kind of decide a base sum of what, in the entire convention, we would need from the EC in our budget,” said Ramsay Trask, ‘24, the Mock Convention general chair. “Then we split up our asks throughout each budget allocation so that we’re not draining their budget at the last minute.”
During any allocation session, treasurers from each campus organization present their budgets to the Executive Committee and request the funding.

This involves explaining line items – particular expenses in each club’s budget. For the Fancy Dress committee, that might mean booking live performances, while Mock Convention’s financial chair requests funds to cover operational costs.

“EC funding goes into putting on the convention,” Trask said. “Setting it up, setting up the tennis center, equipment, the stage and everything, and speakers.”

The Executive Committee then deliberates and reviews the line items of each organization.

“We go back and look at the budget and ask, ‘do they need this, or can we cut this?’” Shreenath said.
The General Activities Board (GAB) did not ask the Executive Committee for any funds during the fall session of emergency allocations.

GAB Treasurer Walt Phillips ’25, said they did not feel asking for money was necessary this year.
“We had enough, both in past revenues from the previous year and in our spring allocation to where we didn’t need the emergency amount,” Phillips said. “We didn’t want to come in and ask during winter term and seem like we’re not appropriately thinking through our funding.”
Before the Spring Term allocation session, all unused funds allocated to clubs by the Executive Committee are returned. So, heading into the Spring Term session, clubs have no Executive Committee funding.
“If student organizations did their own fundraising, they get to keep that,” Shreenath said. “We just take any money that we allocated and they didn’t use.”
The Fancy Dress Committee has typically taken home even larger portions of the Executive Committee allocations than other organizations – with Mock Convention as a close second.
Shreenath said in consideration of the Fancy Dress Committee, the Executive Committee looks at the last five years of allocations, spring term allocations, and their fall proposal.
“We just decided to give them the amount we did based on historical data and the new proposal they had given us,” Shreenath said.
The Fancy Dress Committee declined to comment further on their budget, but instead wrote “Fancy Dress works with the EC each year during budget allocations to help fund our event. We appreciate their support to help make Fancy Dress a great event for the entire student body!”