SAMARA BENZA, Asst. Features Editor—As the routine of school begins once again, clubs start gathering and organizations begin planning. A big club on campus, and one that drew a lot of attention last year, is DCGA (the Denison Campus Governance Association) because of a fractionalization that occured in the finance system in the 2018-2019 school year. This resulted in a new committee: the Ad Hoc Appeals Board. After the events of last year, DCGA found it crucial to develop a board that works on fixing the holes that were discovered in the system. In order to make sure what happened last year will never happen again, the Ad Hoc Appeals Board has been created.
This board was created by Student Body President, Owen Crum and is independent of the finance committee and the DCGA body. Katherine Truitt, ‘21 majoring in Language Studies, explains that the appeals board does not traditionally happen; instead, Crum presented the idea to the board, “so community input was possible for the specifications of the committee… such as increasing the number of students on the board to avoid ties.” It is important to note that the DCGA Senate did not start the Ad Hoc Appeals Board, only the President can propose special committees. The main goal of the Ad Hoc Appeals Board will be to resolve budgeting issues that are carrying over from last year.
Truitt is serving as one of four students on the board this year. Truitt tells us that the board, “attempts to fix a small set of lingering issues leftover from last year, so that the DCGA can move on to internal corrections.” In addition to the four students on the board appointed by DCGA, there will be two administrators and one faculty member helping to oversee the Appeals Board: Dean of Students, Bill Fox, Dean of Multicultural Student Affairs Trinidy Jeter, and Associate Professor Veerendra Lele.
Truitt provided insight into what happened last year. Traditionally, an organization at Denison can appeal its budget and resolve the appeal through the DCGA’s appeal board or on the floor of a general meeting. This is normally done before the end of the academic year. However, Truitt recounts on the events of last year, saying: “the election scandal and general discontent with DCGA led to a breakdown of this system.” The scandal that occurred last year was centered around the DCGA finance committee. Allegations were made regarding the ethics and biases of the members of the committee, resulting in the budget not being approved. Truitt states there was a large amount of student bias within the DCGA and a new system had to be implemented. All involved with DCGA and the subcommittees are working on creating a better organization that will run smoother.
If you want to get involved in politics on campus, Truitt advises you to join the Ad Hoc Appeals Board (simply speak to Bill Fox or Truitt) or come get a first hand experience at the DCGA meeting to see if you can take on the time commitment. If appeals aren’t your thing, Truitt says there are many different types of committees that meet at various times throughout the week so something will be sure to fit your schedule; “the committees are one of the easiest ways to have a voice in administrative decisions regarding academics, campus life, and campus resources.”