Open letter to Student Allocations Board
I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. Actually, scratch that. I am both angry and disappointed, as well as extremely frustrated. As an executive board member of the Rutgers University Association of International Relations, Rutgers University's traveling Model United Nations team, it is my responsibility to plan and coordinate the logistics for attending Model UN conferences around the United States and abroad. A large portion of our funding comes from our budget allocated by the RUSA Allocations board before each semester begins. We depend upon the aforementioned RUSA Allocations board to bring a respectable amount of people to these conferences and adequately transport ourselves to the conferences' designated locations. Quite frankly, I am insulted. You gave us zero dollars. Zero, to attend the most important conference of the year at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. Your zero dollars will certainly contribute to our conference experience, as it will place a financial burden on students wishing to attend this conference and restrict the amount of people we are able to take to Boston. Originally we planned to take 15 students, but unfortunately for us and for the University, we can now only afford to take eight. Our members hoping to go to Boston this weekend are dismayed that they will now have to pay much more than we previously required, and some may have to drop from the conference altogether.
Last year, the allocations board was pivotal to our success on the Model UN circuit, as they understood our financial needs as a successful traveling team. Last year, we were the only public school ranked in the top 10, among schools such as Harvard, Georgetown and the United States Military Academy at West Point — our best year in recent memory. Much of this success was due to generous funding from the allocations board, allowing safe and easy travel through public transportation and affordable conference fees for students.
This year, this semester in particular, we’ve had significant difficulty in bringing more people to conferences and maintaining the respectable record we are known for on the Model UN circuit. Your zero dollars do not help us advance as an organization and significantly detract from our experience as Rutgers students hoping to get the most out of our time at the University. While your funding has helped us in the past, and I am very grateful for that, I am insulted at your allocation of ZERO dollars for our trip to Harvard and your blatant disregard for the students who wish to attend this conference. We were only given two minutes to illustrate the importance of this conference to your board of fellow Rutgers students, and in those two minutes our message must have been lost or misinterpreted. While I realize it is unrealistic to receive every dollar we planned for in our initial application, receiving ZERO dollars of what we asked for does not sit well with myself or the organization I represent. I sincerely hope you will be more generous in the future to RUAIR and to many of the other organizations to which you have previously allocated ZERO dollars.
Philip Ryan Kehoe is a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior double majoring in environmental policy, institutions and behavior and journalism and media studies. He is the Director of Communications for the Rutgers University Association of International Relations.