UB to replace Sub-Board I with Faculty Student Association as student government fiscal agent

breakinf
The Spectrum

 

UB will replace Sub-Board I, its fiscal agent for student governments, with the Faculty Student Association on July 1, according to Vice President of Student Life A. Scott Weber and Vice President for Finance and Administration Laura Hubbard.  

The decision, according to Weber, coincides with a UB review committee’s suggestion to cut various SBI-funded programs, including free legal counsel for students, the South Campus safety shuttle bus, radio station WRUB and off-campus housing.

Sub-Board I, a nonprofit founded by UB students in 1970, has been in charge of student fees for decades, whereas FSA, a private nonprofit, does business as Campus Dining & Shops.

Weber and Hubbard’s decision to remove SBI as the fiscal agent comes a year after a SUNY audit into SBI’s practices and roughly seven months into UB’s internal review of SBI.

In a document reviewing SBI, which Weber and Hubbard shared with The Spectrum on Monday, the committee “observed” that while SBI is “acting as the fiscal agent to the student governments,” it does not have a contract with the university and is not a SUNY-recognized fiscal agent.

Joshua Lippes, SBI’s lawyer and head of legal counsel, said SBI has continually asked for UB to sign a contract for the last 20 years. 

“We approached university asking, ‘Would you like to have a contract at some point?’ We even proposed a contract and they said they'll run up the flagpole,” Lippes said. “And that was it. It died on the vine.”

Beginning July 1, student government fees, including SBI’s investment accounts totaling $3.2 million, will transfer to FSA, according to Weber and Hubbard. 

SBI currently has 17 full-time employees and eight will be transitioning to pharmacy and healthcare at FSA, Weber said. Weber reccomended SBI employees apply for jobs at FSA.

“You know, certainly we will encourage folks, because we will need to begin to meet the service needs through FSA, to apply for those jobs,” Weber said.

Weber and Hubbard met with various student governments and informed them of their decision Monday before meeting with members of SBI’s executive board itself, according Jacob Brown, the Vice President of SBI. 

“So the university will start taking your student fee dollars and depositing them into new accounts,” Weber said. “Existing funding that is left over after this process within Sub-Board I would move over to those accounts.” 

Weber said the move will mean student governments, such as the Student Association and Graduate Student Association, will have more “autonomy.”

This is a developing story and a larger story will appear in Thursday’s paper. 

The news desk can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com. 

BRENTON J. BLANCHET


Brenton J. Blanchet is The Spectrum's managing editor and a junior communication major. He specializes in interviews with rising pop stars, but makes sure to still give UB the news scoop.

The Spectrum elected Brenton Blanchet as editor-in-chief for the 2019-20 academic year. Blanchet has been writing for The Spectrum since 2016. 

TANVEEN VOHRA


Tanveen Vohra is a former senior news editor and covered international relations and graduate student protests.