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COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES:Committee created to explore fund options

Sonia Rao | Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Members decided to create an ad hoc committee to explore the possibility of an endowment fund during the Council of Representatives (COR) meeting Tuesday in LaFortune.

The endowment, which would be supported through the carry forward fund of the Student Union Board’s (SUB) budget, could be invested in an account that would acquire interest for student government. The current carry forward fund has been used as a reservoir for funds student government groups do not spend and also as a safety net in case of debt problems.

“The groups don’t always reach their budget. They’re being responsible and so [the carry forward account] is growing,” SUB treasurer Steve Friend said.

As of Jan. 31, he said, the carry forward account had $213,500, not including revenues from The Shirt or other student activities. Friend estimated the carry forward fund would hold around $221,000 once those revenues were added.

Friend also mentioned “The Shirt Royalty Fund,” which he described as a “rainy day fund” that currently holds $300,011. The fund only grows if The Shirt achieves record-high sales. Some of the money in the royalty fund could be put toward the student government endowment, Friend said.

The money would then accumulate interest.

Friend cautioned that though the carry forward and royalty funds have rapidly expanded over the past five or six years, it is still important to have money on hand for debt emergencies.

“There’s going to be a time when The Shirt is not as successful as it’s been [in the past]. There was a time when it sold only 40,000 units,” he said.

Breen-Phillips senator Maris Braun moved for an ad hoc committee to be formed for endowment explorations. SUB manager Patrick Vassel volunteered to lead the group, and student body president Lizzi Shappell said she would assist Vassel in researching investment possibilities.

Hall President’s Council co-chair Bryan Lowery said he discussed the nuts and bolts of an endowment with Director of Accounting and Financial Services Jason Little. Lowry said an endowment fund would be possible for student government, “but we would have to go through Development if we wanted outside donors,” he said.