The Student Activities Council passed a motion last night vindicating the International Affairs Association of any financial misuse during the 1994-95 fiscal year. This motion refutes the audit released last week by the Undergraduate Assembly Budget Committee, which found that the IAA misused $1,500 in SAC funding. SAC also voted to perform future audits through the SAC Finance Committee. At the meeting, SAC Finance Committee Chairperson David Shapiro, a College and Wharton junior, presented the committee's version of the IAA budget, which did not correspond to the UA Budget Committee's findings. According to the Finance Committee's report, "the overwhelming majority of the [UA Budget] Committee's findings can be attributed to admin- istrative accounting errors." The SAC committee also concluded that the UA's investigation was inaccurate because it did not review the IAA's books or interview IAA members. UA Treasurer and College sophomore Steve Schorr, a Daily Pennsylvanian sports writer, attributed this to the lack of cooperation on the part of the IAA. But IAA President and College senior Brendan Cahill said the UA simply did not give him enough time to respond. SAC Steering Committee Chairperson Graham Robinson, a College senior, expressed his disappointment over the way in which the audit was conducted. "We think that the UA should have made a greater effort to meet with the IAA, whether or not the IAA was pushing them back to delay release of the audit, simply because this meeting was important for assuring that the information in the released audit would be correct," Robinson said. But Schorr maintained that the UA's findings were accurate, and said that any "administrative accounting errors" were due to accurate information provided by the IAA. He added that the accounting errors -- some of which occurred more than a year ago -- would never have been noticed had it not been for this audit. SAC members also criticized Rogers and Schorr for publicizing their results before showing them to the IAA and SAC Finance -- thereby breaching an earlier agreement between the groups. "Lance Rogers and Steve Schorr have not simply pointed out questions of accounting -- they have publically accused the IAA of stealing money from students," Robinson said. A separate motion to demand that the UA impeach UA Chairperson and College senior Lance Rogers and Schorr for their "demonstrated incompetence and blatant disregard for ethical behavior with respect to the proceedings during the investigation of the International Affairs Association" was considered but then defeated by the SAC body. Cahill said the IAA holds the entire UA body responsible for Rogers' statements in the press, adding that the IAA has been considering legal action. UA Vice Chairperson Gil Beverly, a Wharton senior, said he co-sponsored a motion at Sunday night's UA meeting that was intended to prevent individual members of the body to speak for the entire group on controversial issues, such as this audit. Had it passed at the meeting, it would have prevented the IAA audit from being considered officially supported by the entire UA body. The motion failed 11-7 with five abstentions. So when Rogers referred to the IAA as "frauds" on UTV13's "Frontline" program or as "thieves" in the DP, this would not be reflecting the opinion of the entire body, Beverly said. Beverly said he has been wary of the validity of the audit since it was released Friday. "I think it is clear that our version of the audit isn't correct -- at least all of the evidence at this time points to that," he said last night. "I think we need to take a good hard look at ourselves and the way we do things and if audits are something that we even need to be thinking about doing anymore." Beverly added that he wishes the Budget Committee had been more careful with its accusations. "It is obvious to me that this audit ended up being not as much about fact-finding as it was about personal issues in the end," he said. Also at the SAC Finance Committee meeting, Wharton sophomore Andrea Ogundele, College sophomore Dan Orr and Wharton junior Humberto Salomon were elected to the body.Comments powered by Disqus
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