Maybe student government should have spent more time on accounting, and less time trying to boycott Israel.
The Miscellany News reports:
VSA debt raises tough questions about budget oversight
Shahid Naeem had a bad feeling. The third year political science major, who has served as the Vassar Student Association (VSA) 2016-17 Chair of Finance, had a gnawing suspicion all year that the VSA budget didn’t quite add up. “Something didn’t seem right to me,” he said.
So a few weeks ago, Naeem sat down with VSA advisor and Associate Director of Campus Activities Michelle Ransom to run the numbers and try to figure out exactly what was going on. It turned out that his hunch was correct. Something was, indeed, very wrong: The VSA had a deficit of at least $150,000.
“When I walked out of this meeting, I came to terms with the fact that none of these numbers [that had been bothering me] were mistakes,” Naeem recalled, adding, “I just felt really tired.” For her part, Ransom wasn’t shocked. “I’ve worked here for 24 years, so not much surprises me,” she said. The situation, which Naeem described as a “perfect storm,” required immediate action. On April 4, he announced that until further notice, all VSA Special Purpose Funds would be frozen.
The exact reasons for the six-figure budget discrepancy are manifold and are still being worked out. The precise amount of debt is not yet known. What is known, however, is that one of the largest contributing factors to the deficit was the disparity between the amount of student activities fees the VSA expected to collect and the amount that actually came in.
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