Revised IRC bylaws tighten fundraising protocol

The Inter-Residence Council proposed an update to its bylaws that pertain to the way residence hall councils handle fundraising. Although the changes are not official until after a second vote, the first vote passed on Monday Feb. 10. The proposed bylaws will make fundraising approval easier and help ensure the money from the fundraising goes toward the proper initiatives and is not mishandled. Instead of going through the college and being approved by the Director of Student Life Chip Matthews, approval will go directly through the IRC.

The changes involve the use of the Residence Council Fundraising Form and the relevant steps needed to get approval. These steps include giving a rationale and exact price breakdown for the entire event as well as indicating a legitimate charitable organization. The IRC executive board must then approve the charity.

It also specified, “The [Inter-Residence Council] budget may not make a profit from an IRC-sponsored fundraiser or event,” and the residence hall must submit proof of the donation within two weeks of the event, or the hall will be “in bad financial standing until proof of the donation is received.” The update does not significantly alter the current bylaws but rather modernizes them.

These changes are expected to improve the IRC bylaws by providing a more secure framework for the way fundraisers are organized and executed.

“I think that these changes will give IRC more security within its budget,” Student Association Director of Inter-Residence Affairs senior Olivia Kelly said. “They’ll be more responsible with the funds that are being distributed to the halls.”

IRC Adviser Luke Haumesser concurred with Kelly’s statements, saying, “I think the changes are a way to hold residence halls accountable and to make sure that all paperwork is in and that the money is going where it’s [supposed to go].

“It’s a way to cover IRC, who is providing funds for these programs, and also a way for the hall councils to finalize the process and make sure all the money is in,” he added. “It’s a way to make sure mandatory student activity fees are being used appropriately.”

Both Kelly and Haumesser consider these changes necessary in order to keep the bylaws up to date.

“These changes are just to get rid of outdated information and then to bring in a new policy that I think will be very effective in terms of fundraising,” Kelly said.

“This is only for when hall councils are asking IRC for money. If they are not asking IRC, they would just go to their residence director or [the Activities Commission] for approval, and how they choose to handle it would be fit,” Haumesser said. “This doesn’t apply to all fundraisers, just the ones funded by IRC.”

Haumesser and Kelly agree that the proposed updates will help to make things run more smoothly and efficiently. They will also help to ensure that all fundraising is done in an official and authentic way. It is most important in the bylaws that all charities are approved by the IRC and that they are legitimate.

Haumesser added, “It’s nice to know there is an executive board and general assembly that’s always willing to look at their constitution and their bylaws, to update it to fit the current campus climate and to really hold each other accountable and make sure that they’re moving forward – not just keeping the same constitution year after year.”