Student government information will soon become easier to access.
The College of William and Mary Student Assembly will be launching an addition to its website that tracks its finances in an effort to improve transparency.
“Budgetwatch,” which will be launched after fall break, will show how much money is in the SA’s accounts, the details of various expenses, and where money is being allocated, including how much is given to each social class and to the Publications Council.
Budgetwatch was initially spearheaded by SA Secretary of Finance Caitlin Patterson ’12 at the first SA meeting Sept. 4 with additional support from SA President Kaveh Sadeghian ’12.
“As a newcomer to SA, I spent a lot of time listening to the concerns of the more veteran members and those in other organizations who have close relations with the SA. I really wanted to try to fix this problem, and this site with current account information just seemed like a good idea,” Patterson said.
Since the initiative’s inception, SA has been collecting up-to-date account and budget information to consolidate onto the website, which is still under development, by mid-October.
“Our idea is to create a space where students can go online to see a real time tracker of the SA’s current finances,” Undersecretary of Finance Emil Iqbal ’13 said. “This addition will really give students the ability to see exactly where money is being spent, and will hopefully make the process of applying for SA money easier for organizations.”
Patterson and Sadeghian said that the initiative is intended to improve SA’s transparency with regularly updated financial information for students.
“It increases accessibility and transparency in one shot and is, in my opinion, aligned with the interests of many if not all student organizations,” Sadeghian said.
Once Budgetwatch is on the SA’s website, SA Finance undersecretaries will regularly update the data.
“I personally hope that students, whether in a student organization or not, take advantage of this service. It’s a phenomenal way to see, in real time, what resources your programs are entitled to and how you can access these budgets,” Sadeghian added.
Patterson said she hoped the initiative would remain a part of the SA’s budgeting system in the long run.
“I hope ‘Budget Watch’ will become a permanent addition to the SA and that it is passed on to others who hope to maintain this sense of transparency,” she said.
The service will be available on the SA website.