Due to concerns of stability, the College of William and Mary Honor Council announced that it will no longer be receiving money from Student Activities Fees, instead looking to College administration for a reliable source of funding.
“The activities of the Undergraduate Honor Council necessitate a regular, reliable source of funding for its modest operating budget,” Honor Council Chief Justice John Pothen said in a press release.
Currently, the Council receives money from the same Student Activities Fees which fund all student organizations. Also, like other organizations, the Honor Council is required to re-apply for funding annually, adding an uncertainty which Pothen says the Council cannot afford.
“Simply put, the Honor process is a vital function of the College,” he said. “The Undergraduate Honor Council does not have the option of not doing the work it is elected to do, and we need an operating budget to do it.”
The Council has occasionally relied on administration for additional funding from the offices of the Dean of Students and Vice President to accommodate an increasing caseload in the past. While the Dean of Students Office has ensured the Council’s new source of funds, it has not yet specified the exact source.
The change, although major, will not bring much change to Council business, Pothen said.
“Hopefully, the change will simply mean that we can focus on faithfully executing the duties incumbent upon us without the distraction of worrying about funding on an annual basis,” he wrote. “Beyond that, I’m not sure this change means a lot for the Council in a practical sense.”
Still, the Council expects some negative responses to the shift in funding.
“I understand this change may be upsetting to some,” Pothen said. “However, it seems to me that this change is in the best interests of our William & Mary community, and I invite anyone who feels strongly about this to contact me directly regarding the decision.”