This week, the University of Dayton Student Government Association avoided one basic question: where do you spend student money?
Members of the SGA executive council have refused to answer which organizations SGA chooses to fund and how much they spend on each group, despite the fact they are well within their responsibility to do so.
SGA president Emily Kaylor claimed she doesn’t “want an organization being pissed off” at her, and then overwhelming Scott Bridwell, SGA vice president of finance. Bridwell, for his part, claims the information is “just kind of personal information” that he feels could “cause a lot of turmoil” on his end.
Kaylor claims SGA’s actions are rooted in a respect for organizational privacy. She claims she isn’t comfortable releasing the numbers on behalf of the student organizations because she doesn’t want them to be uncomfortable.
Instead of worrying about the feelings of organizations – a fair number of whom have public IRS 990 filings detailing their finances – Kaylor should focus on returning transparency to the organization the student body elected her custodian. The real question SGA should ask is whether students are comfortable not knowing how their money is spent.
To a certain extent, Flyer News is at fault for failing to cover Student Government Association meetings at great depth. For that, we apologize to the student body, and we make this promise: never again will SGA become this opaque under this staff’s watch.
We get it. Being transparent can sometimes be a pain. But, the fact of the matter is this: the information in SGA’s possession belongs to every University of Dayton student. To deny students of their right to know where their money is going is secretive. SGA leaders should step up and do the right thing.
Show us the money.