An Open Letter from SCOPE President Rachel Boulerice
This past Friday in USGA, SCOPE went up for money from miscellaneous for weekend programming. Although the budget committee recommended giving the full amount requested, the students that represented their organizations, as well as the Senate that is supposed to be representative of the student body, voted not to give SCOPE any of the money. This was the second time around that SCOPE went up, and according to the USGA Treasurer’s manual, “both Blue and Gold Status organizations may only request Miscellaneous funding twice per event.” This means that SCOPE cannot go in front of Miscellaneous again to request money for our weekend programming budget.
For those of you that do not know, SCOPE is considered a media. There are only three medias at the university, the Charger Bulletin, Chariot Yearbook, and SCOPE. There is really no clear definition of a media, mainly because they all do so much that it would take forever to explain. Although I cannot speak for the Bulletin and the yearbook, I can speak on behalf of SCOPE.
SCOPE consists of eight different committees: comedy and lecture, day programming, film, Halloween and Spring Carnival, publicity, special events, tech, and weekend programming. Each of these committees holds an array of responsibilities, but the main one being to put on programs that are fun, free and open to all UNH students. As a media, SCOPE is required to hold so many events a month. On average, SCOPE holds about 20 to 25 events a month; that is, however, budget pending. Last year, there was a mix up and SCOPE’s budget was cut a substantial amount for this year. Aside from programming throughout the year, SCOPE is responsible for many of the traditions held at this university; i.e. hosting the Halloween Haunted House, Rock and Roll Week, Comedy Week, Film Week, and Spring Weekend. We do pride ourselves on many of the things we do, but the most crucial piece of the puzzle is weekend programming.
Aside from SCOPE being a media, the President, and both Vice Presidents of the organization are media heads. This basically means that because of the amount of work they have to do and put in, they receive a stipend for their work within the organization. Part of my job as president is to oversee weekend programming, and if we no longer hold weekend programs, then how can I be expected to do my job in the most efficient manner?
Many years ago, weekend programming was just a committee under USGA. Once the students realized there was a need for it, it was turned over to SCOPE, and it became a line item to ensure that programs would always take place. Today, SCOPE plans eight weekend events a month, these events range from trips to bowling, trips to the museum, making T-shirts out of bags, movie trips, sporting event trips, novelty events, stuff-a-bear, pumpkin painting, decorating recycling bins, trips to Broadway, our annual trip to Six Flags, our annual Easter egg hunt, and so much more. Many of these events are looked forward to by the student body, and if these events just stop happening, what does that mean for the university and the students?
The only presented solution to this problem would be to pull money from Spring Weekend budget and cut back on what we are planning to do. This means that we would either have to cut the comedian, the carnival, or the concert. I know the students will not like this, but it is the only way that SCOPE will be able to get money to put on weekend programs throughout the rest of the year. Taking money from Spring Weekend is not ideal, but if the students that make up USGA do not find it plausible to give weekend programming money, then we will look internally and go from there. However, taking this money is not definite, and it still needs to be discussed.
One of the major topics of discussion at USGA was that SCOPE should cut back on our luxuries, meaning that we should be able to work within a smaller budget, meaning that we would have to cut back on the programs that we host for the students. My whole point: why should we cut back on the student body? It is the students that fund our budgets and the programs we hold are solely for the students’ enjoyment.
The programs hosted by SCOPE do not usually have one particular theme, and are not just open to one type of student. They are always free for all students or however many the program can accommodate. Even though this is true, when it comes to weekend programming, it will cease to exist for the rest of the year due to this year’s budget unless action is taken; whether it be taking money from Spring Weekend or somehow being able to ask for funds again, or from another source.
The whole point of this article was to inform the students of what is going on and let them know that this year’s spring weekend will not be all it can be due to the switching of money. I know the students may be mad and outraged, but what they need to remember is that this was a last resort, and it was not what SCOPE wanted.