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Open Letter to the BSG Board of Directors

On February 5, 2013


The Stylus is calling for an independent accountant, such as Chris Trento (Certified Public Accountant), to handle its finances on behalf of Brockport Student Government. 

The Stylus no longer has confidence  in the BSG business manager to handle the finances based on previous discrepancies with the organization's finances and it has lost confidence in the business manager to communicate properly with those at The Stylus. 

Members of The Stylus need to know that its finances are accurate and its employees supported. 

In September a discrepancy was found in a purchase order made out to Crystal Rock for water delivery. The price on the purchase order was crossed out and increased by five dollars. 

Last week, a discrepancy was found between a purchase order made by The Stylus and a check written to the American Red Cross. The check, which was money fundraised by the staff to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, was five dollars less than that which was deposited into the account. 

If twice in five months there was five dollars unaccounted for on your bank statement, wouldn't you look into it too? 
We take every penny that's in our budget seriously. It's not magic money that we spend. It's money from students, paid for by the mandatory student fee that charges students $96 a semester. That could be your five dollars we couldn't account for. You may as well have thrown it down a drainage hole, never to be seen again. 

Changes are made and instituted without anyone knowing about them. A note was put in The Stylus' mailbox Thursday morning stating that timecards were due by 12 p.m. starting that day. The Stylus business manager handles the mail and is not in Thursdays, a known fact in the BSG business office, and even if she had been, three hour notice is not a sufficient way of dealing with a problem, change in policy or enforcement of policy. 

We therefore no longer have confidence that we will be paid, as this week we are not getting paid because we missed a deadline that has suddenly been enforced. Our advertising department has dealt with this issue for three semesters now. The BSG business manager sits on checks and refuses to give the check to the advertising manager. That's money we depend on, just as anyone with a job depends on and looks forward to payday. 

This is not the first time the finances of student organizations have been put in jeopardy by BSG's failure to communicate clearly and thoroughly. Last semester, the budgets of more than 30 clubs were in danger of being frozen due to their failure to turn in their club constitutions. None of these clubs were reminded about the deadline (despite the deadline being moved twice) until their budgets were already in danger of being frozen.

In order to stay within budget and keep from running a deficit, it is imperative executives at The Stylus have an updated Account Status Report and the confidence that checks are being deposited on a regular basis. Approximately half of our budget is composed of advertising revenue, which means checks are commonly needed to be deposited and our account is fluid. In order to be as responsible with our finances as possible, we must have someone to manage our account who is as prompt and reliable as our own business manager.

We therefore ask that an independent accountant take over the maintenance of our budget so that these problems can be resolved and our employees are paid fairly, promptly and accurately for the work they do. 

President Sam Wheeler said this would not be able to happen, after checking with the business manager, whose job the independant accountant would take over to look over The Stylus' finances. 

This isn't just important to us, but it should be important to students and the Board as this is money that comes directly from students. If BSG will work with The Stylus to keep our budget up to date now, it will prevent problems for both BSG and The Stylus in the future.

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