The following was sent to students yesterday:

We hope everyone is doing well and successfully adjusting back into class mode.
College Council is writing to get your advice and give you a chance to help make a major financial decision for the campus.

College Council raised $35,000 by closing the college accounts of defunct student groups.  We now want to use that money for a large campus improvement project and we are giving the student body the power to decide how to spend it.

Students can submit their ideas for how to spend the money from now until midnight on September 16th.

In order to be considered, your ideas must meet the following criteria:

1) A large portion of the campus should benefit from the use of the money
2) No group can be explicitly excluded from reaping benefits from the money
3) The use of the money must comply with college rules (i.e. it cannot be used
for alcohol or anything else explicitly banned by the college)

The best ideas will be put to a vote of the student body and CC will use the money for the idea that wins in the instant runoff vote.

The above was a very short summary from which you can get the information you need to participate in this process.  

See below for a more thorough description and let us know if you have any questions.  

We look forward to reading your ideas and seeing how the campus votes.

Sincerely,
Peter Nurnberg and Jeremy Goldstein
College Council co-Presidents

More thorough explanation:

Over the past two years, the College Council treasurers have reclaimed unused and largely forgotten student activities money by closing the college accounts of organizations that have not been active for several years.  For a variety of reasons, some organizations get money from the student activities tax fund, do not spend a large portion of that money and then eventually disappear.  By pulling back the funds held by those defunct organizations, College Council now has a substantial amount of money that is currently not pledged to any specific use.  Since that money was ultimately raised from the student body, we want to give that money back to the student body.  Rather than splitting up the money
and distributing it in small amounts that would benefit relatively small cross sections of the campus, we want to use this rare opportunity to fund a significant campus impact project that will benefit a large cross section of the campus (if not the entire campus).  

Since this is an important decision, we want all options to be considered and as many people and constituencies as possible to be involved.  Thus, we are asking for your help and empowering you to make this decision.  

CC has considered a wide spectrum of options ranging from giving the money to student groups that want to make a significant one time purchase to using the money to buy a lot of new books for the 1914 library to putting the money towards the Spring Fling concert to using the money to purchase new
infrastructure for the houses (more pool tables, etc…).  

However, we want to hear your ideas.  How do you think the money should be spent?  What would you do with the money?  

We are sending this email in order to invite all of you to submit ideas.  CC will evaluate all submitted ideas and select a slate of ideas to be put to an all campus vote.  We will then pursue the options in the order of the vote (i.e. we will use the money for the first option unless, in the process of implementing the idea, we find out that use of the money is not allowed or there is some other unsolvable problem, and then we would go on to the second highest vote getter, etc…).

The slate will be on the ballot in the upcoming fall elections (more information to come soon).  

You may submit your ideas from now until Tuesday September 16th.

In order to be considered for the ballot, your ideas should meet the following criteria:

1)   A large portion of the campus should benefit from the use of the money
2)   No group should be explicitly excluded from reaping benefits from the money
3)   The use of the money must comply with college rules (i.e. it cannot be used for alcohol or anything else explicitly banned by the college)

As indicated by the title of this email, the total amount of money available for distribution is $35,000.

Ideas in the comments, and if someone whose life isn’t crazy could compile the best, I would appreciate.

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