The Review’s Special Fee Reviews

*The *Review continues its tradition of going through every special fee group so you don’t have to.

Alternative Spring Break

Request: $3.11/Student

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) funds approximately 15 Spring Break trips per year which expose students social and cultural issues via community visits, community service, group discussion, and so on. A couple of hundred students participate in the program each year, and far more apply for the opportunity to go on a trip. The majority of ASB’s budget goes toward funding food, cost of travel, and accommodations for the trips. ASB’s request is much lower this year, as it intends to spend down some of its large cash reserves. While the program affects a significant number of trip participants, it does provide a significant service to the rest of campus that does not participate in trips.


Asian American Student Association (AASA)

Request: $6.72/Student

AASA strives to explore the “political, and cultural issues pertinent to our [Asian] communities.” It is an umbrella group for 14 student organizations. Though there is little individual detail about the various events AASA and its child groups will put on, the events are estimated to draw 1500 attendants in total. The largest line items are Honoraria expenses ($14,290) and Event Food ($12,718). AASA is requesting 2% more than last year, primarily because of increased campus costs. Furthermore, they have reserves totaling approximately 90% of their request amount ($34,431).

ASSU Legal Counseling

Request: $6.50/Student

The Legal Counseling Office (LCO) is a joint group that provides free legal advice to all Stanford students (and spouses/partners) to help with a wide range of potential legal issues facing students. Because legal fees can be incredibly expensive, the LCO can be a valuable resource for students. Nearly their entire Special Fee request goes directly toward funding lawyers themselves, so the impact of student dollars is direct. Furthermore, their budget has decreased slightly from last year by about 5% as they will be funding a portion of their budget through their reserves. It should be mentioned, however, that only about a third of the people served by the LCO are undergraduates – at that rate, undergrads are paying too much for the service provided.

ASSU Speakers Bureau

Request: $11.47/Student

The ASSU Speakers Bureau is a joint group that funds honoraria for a wide set of speaker events on campus which promote intellectual, political, social, and cultural awareness. Nearly the entirety of the budget goes toward honoraria fees and travel costs of flying in speakers; the Speakers Bureau also funds technical services for a number of groups. The amount of money on this campus funneled into underattended, underpublicized can be excessive; furthermore, the group’s budget has grown quite quickly, increasing by $40,000 over just 4 years. However at $11.47, the Speakers Bureau still provides sufficient bang for your buck.

Barrio Assistance

Request: $1.77/Student

Barrio Assistance provides opportunities for Stanford students to tutor elementary and middle school kids in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. It provides opportunities for at least 30 tutors per week and affects hundreds of area students. The group’s main operating cost is van rentals ($6000), which it needs to bring students in for sessions. Barrio Assistance has explained that the rentals are the only way to maintain its operations. Finally, while its weekly food expenditures are questionable, its impact on Stanford and area students is undeniable.

Basmati Raas

Request: $2.21/Student

Basmati Raas is a dance group, specializing in Indian folkdance. Basmati Raas performs numerous times each year, most notably at NSO and Parents’ Weekend, and the group is open to anyone to try out. Their request has increased, by 58% over last year, due to increased airfare prices — the vast majority of their Special Fee request is travel related. Though they do draw from a wide variety of sources, too much money is spent on trips. Their request also significantly exceeds Appropriations Committee guidelines related to travel fare and accommodations.

Black Student Union (BSU)

Request: $5.31/Student

The BSU seeks to “provide an open forum for students to talk and learn about social, political and cultural issues involving the Black community at Stanford and the greater community.” The largest line items for their  12 events are Honoraria Fees ($13,450) and Event Food ($8,900). They estimate that 10% event attendants are from off-campus. They are requesting approximately the same amount as last year, primarily because of Senate appropriations cuts.


The Bridge Peer Counseling Center

Request: $1.27/Student

The Bridge is a 24 hour per day counseling resource for the Stanford community and is staffed by trained Stanford students. Its staffers are heavily involved in multiple courses related peer counseling and mental health on campus. The Bridge’s budget mainly covers its large phone bill and marketing expenses. Each year, the Bridge purchases a large number of customized cups or mugs to publicize its counseling efforts. The marketing expenses contradict Appropriations Committee policies, which restrict expenditure on marketing to much lower levels ($40/event). However, the importance and value of the Bridge should be emphasized when weighing the costs and benefits.


Cardinal Ballet Company

Request: $1.45/Student

Cardinal Ballet Company puts on just two shows per year for the Stanford community, the fall Works in Progress show and then helping to organize Urban Nights Dance Fusion, one of the largest performances on campus.  Their entire budget goes toward performance in some way, including rentals for equipment and space in Dinkelspiel, but also to buy rights to songs and hire choreographers to train them to perform under the terms of the songs they choose.  The group does generate some revenue from ticket sales, but they do not plan to apply for outside funds like the Stanford Fund unless they fail to receive special fees.


Cardinal Free Clinics

Request: $2.05/Student

Cardinal Free Clinics is a joint group that funds the operations of two off-campus free clinics about 20 miles away. The clinics provide opportunities for medical students and undergraduates to volunteer and receive training related to community medicine. Over 100 Stanford students volunteer at some point during the year. However, the group serves a relatively small pool of undergraduates, and over a third of its budget funds weekend food. The group provides a significant service for Stanford students, but its excessive food and equipment line items justifies skepticism about its spending.

Dance Marathon

Request: $2.72/Student

Dance Marathon is a dancing event that raises money and awareness for charities. The group and event have a significant impact on student life each year; the event itself is attended by at least 1,000 students each year. Its Special Fee request will fund the operations of the event, which includes facility and equipment rental, food, and janitorial services. The group’s budget has not changed significantly from last year.

Green Living Council

Request: $1.36/Student

The Green Living Council (GLC) provides the Stanford campus with greater awareness about the existing environmental situation and encourages behavioral change at a grassroots level.  The GLC has around 40 members and hopes to expand its ability to provide all-campus programming over the next year.  This is the first year that the groups has applied for special fees, and as a result it lacks some of the line-item specifics that the more experienced groups have detailed in their budgets.  At the same time, the GLC’s largest event, the Conservation Cup, has been very popular among student dorms over the past few years.  As a result, the group is asking for special fees in order to provide better quality marketing and printing supplies.


Jewish Student Association (JSA)

Request: $3.16/Student

The JSA aims to provide “cultural, religious, and social programming aimed at the Jewish and broader Stanford community”. The majority of their special fees request are for Event Food and Honoraria, which paid to  ~7 speakers throughout the year, with a minimum attendance of 75 and maximum attendance of 600. Over $8,000 of event food is requested, much of it for traditional Jewish meals, such as shabat dinners. The JSA is applying for 15% less than last year, because of Senate appropriations cuts; their reserves are $11,000, or nearly 50% of their request amount.

KZSU 90.1 FM

Request: $9.00/Student

KZSU is the campus radio station, reaching any student who decides to tune in. KZSU’s money is almost entirely devoted to the actual production of radio programming. Their request has decreased from $78,974 last year to $65,269. They do not appear to have much in the way of cash reserves and have made efforts to fundraise through underwriting, on the air and through the Stanford Fund. $9.00 is a reasonable price to keep KZSU on the air.


Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band

Request: $10.65/Student

With a mission statement of “Bringing funk to the funkless,” LSJUMB certainly seems confident in their ability to win Special Fees. Though they put on a few concerts each year, LSJUMB is unquestionably best known for performing at sporting events (which may have tens of thousands of attendees) and various other notable activities around campus. Whether you enjoy them or not, you have almost certainly been exposed to LSJUMB. LSJUMB has a $77,200 special fee request (a 9% increase), with $3,500 to event food, and $6,000 to car/van rental, numbers that seem high. Their request is bloated at $10.65 per undergrad, and they don’t appear to have made a serious effort to get outside funds. In addition, they have over $80,000 in total assets and reserves. Everybody loves band, but they will be fine without this money.

Los Salseros de Stanford

Request: $0.79/Student

Los Salseros provides “dance lessons, socials, individual performances, and shows, which are all held free of charge, are all services provided by Los Salseros de Stanford to Stanford students and alumni.” Their request is 10% lower, primarily due to Senate appropriations cuts. Attendance varies, though big events draw more than 200 people, and smaller workshops regularly attract ~50. The top expenses are Honoraria Fees ($3,000) and Facilities Rental ($2,000); they are not requesting Event Food from the student body. Los Salseros has ~$17,000 in reserves, or nearly 300% of their application amount; they are also applying for a transfer of $3,751 of these reserves, bringing their total application amount to $9,464.

Mariachi Cardenal de Stanford

Request: $2.16/Student

Mariachi Cardenal de Stanford supports a one unit class on mariachi, and provides the campus with mariachi music (their annual Spring show includes dinner). They are petitioning for a minor increase over last year due to increased technical costs. Though no group membership numbers were provided, we suspect the club’s membership ranges from 10-15 members; this Special Fee request would come out $1,500 per member. Most of this is due to the nearly $12,000 paid to four professional instructors from San Jose brought in to teach the one unit mariachi class (which is open to all Stanford students, though no statistics were included regarding the Mariachi versus non-Mariachi member breakdown of the class).

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA)

Request: $3.74/Student

MEChAs goals include “promoting cultural diversity, facilitating discussion and thought about important social issues, and promoting and developing student interest in higher education, especially graduate school.” MEChA is an umbrella organization for five other student groups, and over one third of their request ($9,162) is Honoraria fees to various speakers and performers.  Most events on their application do not disclose attendance figures, though the events that do are typically in the 45 person range. While their request amount is 30% less than last year due to Senate appropriations cuts, MEChA has reserves that are nearly 200% of the amount requested this year ($54,000).


Muslim Student Awareness Network (MSAN)

Request: $4.66/Student

MSAN “provide quality events for students of the Stanford Community

throughout the year, reflecting [their] mission of bridging the dialogue

gap between Muslims and the Stanford Community.” They are applying for 12% less than last year, because of Senate appropriations cuts. The majority ($18,700) of their request is Honoraria expenses for over 20 events they hold throughout the year. Most of these events are geared towards the greater Stanford community, with attendance typically in the 30-200 range. The other moderately large expenses are Event Food ($4,300) and Travel Fares ($4,500). The MSAN reserve is $10,249, or ~33% of their request amount.


Queer/Straight Alliance (QSA)

Request: $1.19/Student

QSA “aims to create open social spaces on campus and encourage political activism for the achievement of queer rights”. They are petitioning for less than last year, primarily because of appropriations committee cuts. The majority of costs are concentrated in Genderfuk, a drag party that intends to “de-normalize gender hierarchies”, Queer Formal, a formal targeted toward queer students, and Queer Educational Weeks, held 2-3 times per quarter. Approximately $1,100 of event food expenses are budgeted for QSA events. The QSA reserves are $7,839, or almost 100% of their request amount.

Sexual Health Peer Resource Center

Request: $2.14/Student

The Sexual Health Peer Resource Center (SHPRC) provides free condoms and lube, non-alcoholic parties/events, and other resources related to sexual health to the student body free of charge. It impacts a large portion of the student body, receiving around 2000 visits per year to its Vaden office. Its request does not follow some Appropriations Committee policies, such as no funding for t-shirts. The vast majority of its budget goes toward the purchase of condoms and lube.

Six Degrees: A Stanford Journal of Human Rights

Request: $1.25/Student

Six Degrees is a journal dedicated to publishing student essays on global human rights issues. Nearly its entire budget goes toward printing costs of the journal. They publish around 2 or 3 times per year with a circulation of approximately 1,000. Its distribution efforts have not led to significant recognition of its efforts. Six Degrees does not have revenue sources other than the ASSU Special Fee. Its modest size and small readership base would seem to make it more appropriate for funding via the ASSU Publications Board.

Society for International Affairs at Stanford

Request: $3.44/Student

The Society for International Affairs at Stanford is basically the Model United Nations team, which sends about 15 students to Model UN tournaments around the country. Its Special Fee request mainly consists of funding for airfare and accommodations. The organization hosts a large high school tournament on campus – the event funds a large portion of the team’s operating budget, which is notable because other similar groups, such as Mock Trial, make no such attempts to raise funds. However, the group ultimately provides little value for the broader Stanford community with benefits focused on the team’s small core of traveling members. Also of note is the fact that the team’s Special Fee request increased by 44% this year.


Stanford African Student Association (SASA)

Request: $2.55/Student

SASA aims to “support intellectual, cultural, and social events on the Stanford campus that promote awareness about the African continent. These events include: cultural shows, keynote speakers, soccer tournaments, quiz shows, and open micas.” Nearly two thirds of their request are Honoraria fees ($11,000), followed by Event Food ($1,500). No details or attendance figures are provided on any of the speakers or events, nor are the exact number / type of events provided. They are applying for 78% more than last year, due to an increase in programming (quarterly instead of yearly); they also have reserves totaling $8,926, or almost 50% of their request amount.


Stanford AXE Committee

Request: $1.13/Student

The Stanford AXE Committee provides support for all Stanford sporting events and encourages Cardinal spirit across campus.  From Big Game Week events to the Official Handbook of Stanford University, the AXE Committee strives to increase school spirit across campus and consistently adds enthusiasm to sporting events.  While not every student participates in AXE Committee events, the Committee’s activities are open to all students.  The Special Fees aim to cover technical services and equipment at its events.  This, in addition to a 9% decrease in funds requested from last year, proves the AXE Committee is committed financial consciousness.


Stanford American Indian Association (SAIO)

Request: $2.88/Student

SAIO “provides services mainly but not limited to the Native American, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian community.” They are an umbrella group for  8 student organizations, and are requesting ~30% less than last year, primarily because of Senate cuts. Almost 50% of their request ($8,919) is for Honoraria; many of SAIO’s events center around Native American speakers and performers. The other large line item is for Event Food ($5,535), served at a number of SAIO events. Attendance figures for SAIO events are typical from 15-40 student. The SAIO reserve is  $32,073, or 150% of their request amount.


Stanford Cardinal Broadcasting Network

Request: $1.50/Student

Their special fees request claims they “bring the Stanford community together,” and that they are “a source of news”—they produce television content. Despite broadcasting to all campus, they estimate a meager 200 viewers (pop quiz: do you know what channel they are on?). That said, very little of the budget goes to things unrelated to their product, and they have decreased their request relative to last year by 33% to $11,270. They appear to have almost no funds on hand, and receive no other funding, so if you can spare the $1.50, there’s a group, if not, there isn’t. That said, SCBN’s contribution to campus discussion is minimal at best and hardly affects any students.

Stanford Chaparral

Request: $1.72/Student

The Stanford Chaparral is the primary “humor” magazine at Stanford. Their entire Special Fee goes toward printing six editions of the publication per year.  The Chappie’s funding has been cut down noticeably this year in compliance with stricter guidelines from the Appropriations Committee regarding how many copies of an issue student publications can print. The Chappie has made some attempts to raise funds outside of the ASSU and maintains a large alumni donor base. Whether the publication is actually funny is a decision better left to the voters.


Stanford Club Sports

Request: $9.94 /Student

Stanford Club Sports, one of the largest groups on campus, provides instructional and recreational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student athletes and encourages athletes in a multitude of disciplines and a variety of skill levels. Over 900 Stanford Graduate and Undergraduate students currently participate in Club Sports. Many teams compete at a very high level, attending Regional and National competitions and facing off against Varsity programs from other schools. Special Fees allocations are used to assist teams with costs for purchasing and maintaining group equipment, hiring professional coaches, and traveling to games and tournaments across the country.  By having a very targeted budget, in addition to its 24% decrease in requests from last year, the group proves that it is committed to financial responsibility.

Stanford Concert Network

Request: $18.36/Student

Stanford Concert Network (SCN) provides a diversity of contemporary entertainment events in both size and content to the undergraduate student body. SCN also has a concert producing system, which provides hands on educational opportunities for students to learn how to produce a variety of events, and act as a central resource for all other student organizations in bringing contemporary acts to campus.  The group’s three largest line item requests are honoraria, programming expenses and co-sponsorships.  Honoraria is the largest because SCN has to spend a large amount of its funding on bands and performers that are expected to attract the student body, especially for the Spring Frost show. Co-sponsorships allow SCN is be a central resource in helping other student groups provide diversity in entertainment.  Since SCN provides significantly reduced ticket prices to students on all shows, revenue generated from tickets is not sufficient to cover the group’s expenses, thus making special fees essential for the group’s operation.


Stanford Daily

Request: $12.35/Student

The Stanford Daily is the daily newspaper of Stanford’s campus. Their Special Fee request increased by 53% over last year and is now close to $90,000. The Daily’s request, unfortunately, violates a large list of policies of the Appropriations Committee. Between the *Daily *and its sister organization Friends of the Daily, the newspaper controls about $1.2 million in cash, which was accumulated during many consecutive years of high levels of profit. Also, the organization pays salaries to student officers far in excess of what the Senate pays out to other officers (although the Daily’s request is for printing costs, the large request in essence frees up funds for the paying of salaries). Furthermore, the Daily has continued its practice of less than transparent financial practices – it took weeks of pressure to finally convince the publication to make its financial records public so that the student body could view them. The Review has reported in previous editions about Daily financial malfeasance, which included direct deception of the Senate regarding its financial situation. Finally, while the Daily justifies its very large request as a modest “subscription fee” to the student body, it has consistently chosen not to seek subscription fees from its graduate student and Palo Alto community reader base.

Stanford Film Society

Request: $3.72/Student

Stanford Film Society hosts several events throughout the year, including several film festivals and screenings like the UN Film Festival and the Student Film Festival, to aid students in creating film and encourage the appreciation of film.  Their budget was already cut by the Appropriations Committee to costs deemed necessary to put on their events, and the remaining budget largely goes toward technical services and publicity.  However, they do have remaining assets and reserves that each exceeds what they ask students to pay this year.

Stanford in Government

Request: $4.66/Student

Stanford in Government (SIG) is a nonpartisan student organization dedicated to increasing political awareness at Stanford and connecting students with opportunities in public service.  In addition to providing internships to Stanford students, SIG offers a multitude of events throughout the year in order to encourage political activism among students of all political backgrounds.  However, one of the group’s biggest concerns is the increasing cost of its Big Speaker event, thus reflected in the budget’s honoraria expenses.  This also is a major factor in the 3% increase in funds requested from last year.  The group recognizes this but believes the increase is necessary, as over 2,000 students have historically attended the Big Speaker event.


Stanford Jazz Orchestra

$1.66/Student

Stanford Jazz Orchestra performs quarterly concerts that usually fill Dinkelspiel Auditorium.  Their special fee budget goes entirely toward bringing guest musicians to perform with them at their concerts.  They earn outside revenue through CD sales in order to pay for their discretionary budget.  Their current assets do exceed their request for this year, but this year’s special fee represents a 46 percent decrease from last year’s request to the students.

Stanford Journal of International Relations

Request: $1.81/Student

The Stanford Journal of International Relations (SJIR) is a bi-annual journal composed primarily of student written essays on issues related to the international system. The publication provides a nice opportunity for Stanford students to see their class work in print. Nearly its entire budget goes toward the printing costs. However, the publication is extremely costly to produce at a rate of around $20 per copy of the journal. Furthermore, it has made no attempts to seek outside funding of any kind.

Stanford Martial Arts Program

Request: $2.57/Student

Stanford Martial Arts Program (SMAP) fosters the martial arts community at Stanford through subsidizing individual groups as well as serving the Stanford community at large through performances, demonstrations, self-defense workshops, and tournaments. Facilities Rental proves to be one of largest line items of the groups’ budget as some of the SMAP member clubs require special practice areas, such as the Stanford Wrestling room, in order to ensure safe practices. Limited availability of the mat room and realistic practice times for clubs necessitate continued use of the wrestling room. The cost of renting these facilities from the University comprises the majority of this line item request.  In addition, SMAP was able to cut its funding requests by 25% from last year’s budget.


Stanford Mock Trial

Request: $4.01/Student

Stanford Mock Trial is an organization dedicated to teaching students about litigation, public speaking, and so on. Its Special Fee money provides the funding for a small, select group of students to travel the country attending mock trial tournaments. Mock Trial’s Special Fee request mainly consists of funding of airfare and accommodations – both requests far exceed the amount outlined by the policies of the Appropriations Committee. The group’s impact on the broader student body is negligible and provides benefit for the small group of students that are permitted to travel.

Stanford National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (SNAACP)

Request: $1.13/Student

SNAACP aims to “provide the campus community with valuable resources and discussions regarding race and social issues relevant to our time. We bring some of the most influential people in their field to discuss these topics.” Their event attendance is relatively light (75-125), and their top line items are co-sponsorship and honoraria expenses. SNAACP’s nearly $21,000 reserves are nearly 250% of their request amount ($8,200), which is why they are also applying for $5,800 from their reserves to bring their application total to $14,000.


Stanford News Readership Program

Request: $1.77/Student

The Stanford News Readership Program (SNRP) provides Stanford students with free copies of the New York Times and San Jose Mercury News at many locations around campus. Nearly its entire budget goes toward purchasing newspapers ($34,000). The group serves a valuable role on campus in keeping students informed. We would, however, encourage SNRP to experiment with the use of other publications that could be of interest, such as the *San Francisco Chronicle *or the Wall Street Journal.


Stanford Outdoors

Request: $3.96/Student

Stanford Outdoors serves the diverse community at Stanford interested in the outdoors by promoting relationships and interactions between leaders of outdoor education and recreation groups; providing a unified information source about outdoor recreation and education activities at Stanford; and providing a forum for discussing, planning, and facilitating issues, events, activities, and programs of common interest to the Stanford outdoor community.  Applying for Joint Special Fees, Stanford Outdoors has grown too large to rely on ASSU General Funds in order to adequately serve the hundreds of participants that utilize its services.  A large portion of the group’s budget, as in year’s past, involves equipment rentals and purchases, and the group hopes to continue to publicize its dozens of activities to the greater Stanford community over the next year.


Stanford Scientific Magazine

Request: $1.20/Student

The Stanford Scientific Magazine is a quarterly magazine on science, technology, and ethics. Its entire budget is to fund the printing costs of publishing the magazine. Unfortunately, poor distribution efforts have made the Stanford Scientific Magazine a non-presence on campus. It has also failed to seek outside funding of any kind. Although its circulation has decreased as a result of Appropriations Committee policies, the magazine still prints at least 1000 copies per issue, which far exceeds any reasonable estimate of its readership.

Student Service Division

Request: $2.51/Student

The Student Service Division (SSD), a Service Project of the ASSU, is a newcomer to the Special Fee. It is an umbrella group that funds the Green Store, the Shuttle Bus, and a new initiative related to technology consulting services for student groups. The Senate removed many wasteful programs and salaries from the budget; however, much waste remains. As reported in previous editions of the Review, the Green Store is seeking a budget of over $7,000 despite the fact that it has never spent more than $1,500 in any year in the past. Furthermore, the fact that students in effect pay twice (for the cups and to subsidize sales of the cups) further complicates SSD’s justification for seeking Special Fee funding. The Shuttle Bus has also been called out for its consistent inefficiencies. Also, its *subsidized *price to students of $16-18 far exceeds the price of local public transportation, which is often less than $5. Finally, the new technology consulting service is a brand new and unproven service. SSD’s impact on the student body thus remains questionable, especially in light of its programs extensive list of inefficiencies and wastefulness.


Stanford Solar Car

Request: $6.90/Student

Stanford Solar Car provides Stanford students with a unique, hands-on engineering experience and educates members as general student body about the benefits and extraordinary potential of alternative energy technologies.  Although the group’s budget has increased by 85% since last year, a new opportunity has arisen which would allow them to not only be competitive in the 2011 World Solar Challenge, but win by a substantial margin.  This endeavor also involves the sponsorship of high-efficiency solar cells from a Silicon Valley startup. The largest line-item requests for the Solar Car budget are a high-efficiency, high-performance solar array, molds and composites materials for creating the carbon-fiber body of the vehicle, and various electrical parts and equipment, which the group believes are crucial to the car’s development.


Stanford Shakespeare Company

$1.89/Student

Stanford Shakespeare Company, or Shakes, puts on two sets of full-length Shakespeare plays on campus each year, in non-traditional stages and at no cost, drawing at least 1000 spectators a year.  They requested less money than last year and reallocated it to ensure that as much goes toward direct production cost as possible, including for vehicles to bring equipment to those non-traditional stages.  Their assets and reserves do not exceed their request, but they do not receive any other funding outside of special fees to share cost with students.

Stanford Students in Entertainment

Request: $1.45/Student

Stanford Students in Entertainment seeks to expose students to options in entertainment careers. Any student can participate, but only those with an interest in an entertainment career have any incentive to. Though the request is markedly lower than last year’s, if you are not a member of the group, you don’t get much out of SSIE, as the bulk of their money goes toward a Hollywood trip exactly 12 people are budgeted to attend. Oddly, SSIE’s application failed to mention where they receive additional revenue. The benefit is too densely concentrated.

Stanford Symphony Orchestra

Request: $3.60/Student

Stanford Symphony Orchestra performs concerts in both classical and modern music, generally one large and one small concert per quarter. The special fees budget will account for 4.5 concerts. The group claims 90 members, although they are evidently 75% or so undergraduates. Of its $26,105, $8,000 is budgeted for honoraria, $600 for event food, and the rest is used on things related to the production of concerts. SSO did not apply for Special Fees last year. The primary source of funding for SSO is a gift from the music department, and the secondary source is ticket funding. Because SSO received special fees, and thus did not charge students for concert tickets, receipts decreased from about $4,000 in 2008-09 to $1,118 in 2009-10. They have about $4,000 in reserve. Unless you’re as deaf as Beethoven, this seems like a reasonable request.

Stanford Wind Ensemble

Request: $1.89/Student

Stanford Wind Ensemble puts on four concerts per year, estimating 150-200 viewers per show. About half their request is budgeted for honoraria and event food. Their request decreased from last year, and do not seem to have much in the way of cash reserves or alternate sources of funding. Though they could budget more efficiently, they do put on free concerts.

Stanford Women in Business

Request: $2.42/Student

Stanford Women in Business provides the women of Stanford University an opportunity to build a foundation in business and join an encouraging community of aspiring and successful businesswomen.  While food and honoraria are the most expensive line items, the group recognized the current Undergraduate Senate soft cap in reducing the request for financing the idk2CEO Business Conference. Stanford Women in Business has historically received all of its funding through the Special Fees process and continue to carefully and optimally allocate its funding throughout the course of the year with its variety of philanthropic and informational events.

Students for a Sustainable Stanford

Request: $2.23/Student

Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS) strives to ensure the sustainability of Stanford University through paper, water and energy reduction programs along with campus-wide outreach events and the promotion of organic and local foods.  In recent years, SSS has been expanding greatly around campus and this is the first year in which the group is applying for special fees.  SSS’s major events, FutureFest and the Social-M Challenge, have forced the group to be more cognoscente of their finances and have submitted a targeted and well thought-out budget.  As a result, a majority of the group’s budget is equipment rental and event supplies for their historically well-attended events.

Student Initiated Courses

Request: $0.63/Student

Student Initiated Courses (SIC) provides students the opportunity to set-up courses in academic or interest areas that are currently under-explored at Stanford.  SICs are available to all undergraduate students and anyone who has an interest in teaching a specific subject area can submit an application.  Each quarter there are 6 to 15 courses with over 10 students in each course.  This year, in an effort to be more financially responsible, SIC was able to cut its budget by 67% from last year.  SIC’s commitment to enhancing the academic experience has led to three straight years of special fees, and this year should make it four.

Student Organizing Committee for the Arts

Request: $7.61/Student

The Student Organizing Committee for the Arts (SOCA) attempts to promote and celebrate art at Stanford in a number of ways including An Art Affair and co-sponsorship of events by smaller arts groups on campus. SOCA has a wide reach on campus, affecting a significant number of arts groups and artists at Stanford. Most of the group’s budget goes toward technical services and the co-sponsoring of events; food and honoraria represent a very small portion of SOCA’s budget. SOCA’s budget request has decreased slightly from last year. SOCA’s steep price tag should be considered when weighing the costs and benefits of the organization.


Stanford Project on Hunger

Request: $2.48/Student

Stanford Project on Hunger (SPOON) promotes hunger awareness on campus, salvages unused campus food, and sponsors breakfast cooking events at local homeless shelters. Nearly a third of its budget goes toward purchasing disposable aluminum tins in which excess campus food is stored (before it is brought to nearby shelters). SPOON has traditionally had limited programming but is requesting over $6,000 this year in honoraria. The organization also has chosen not to follow a number of Appropriations Committee policies and is requesting large amounts of money for travel fares and accommodations to national conferences that will be attended by only two or three Stanford students.

Stanford Progressive

Request: $1.88/Student

The Stanford Progressive is the biquarterly liberal political magazine on campus. It has decreased its request somewhat from last year and will print fewer copies in the coming fiscal year. However, distribution failures have made the Progressive a non-factor in campus political dialogue. Its miniscule readership base certainly does not justify its large fee request. Furthermore, the magazine has consistently made no attempt to seek advertising revenue to support its operation.

Sunday FLiCKS

Request: $3.76/Student

Sunday FLiCKS provides weekly screenings of second-run films free of charge to the student body. It has continued to be a very popular organization for undergraduate and graduate students alike. Its budget goes almost entirely toward the operations of the film screenings, which include technical services and royalties expense. The FLiCKS budget has decreased significantly from last year, with hefty declines in officer salaries.

Volunteers in Latin America

Request: $2.45/Student

Volunteers in Latin America (VILA) funds trips for 11 students to Ecuador for two months over the summer for community service projects. The group provides a meaningful trip for 11 but provides no benefit to the greater campus. Its low applicant numbers (around 40) demonstrate its failure to reach out to the broader student body. Although VILA’s budget has only grown with its inflation, the group has budgeted for officer salaries ($6000) and accommodations ($4800) that far exceed the policies that the Appropriations Committee applied to other groups.

— The Editorial Board

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