Armed with a report that the International Affairs Association may have misused $3,492 in Student Activities Council funds, the SAC Finance Committee has decided to reexamine the IAA's finances, SAC Steering Chairperson Graham Robinson said. According to an independent audit conducted by The Daily Pennsylvanian, the potential fund misuses include overspending for printing and duplicating, travel and personal phone calls made from the group's office. Robinson said the Finance Committee will hand out an information sheet with the results of its investigation at Tuesday's SAC meeting. But he added that the IAA's finances would not be the main subject of the meeting. He said that if the committee discovers that funds were misused, it will react accordingly. But he said a punishment will not necessarily affect the entire group. "If there is an individual in a group who blatantly abuses [his] position and that is what causes the impropriety, then that person would be removed from [his] position in the group," Robinson said. "We do it totally in terms of maintaining the mission of the group and fixing the problem," he added. "We don't want to fall in the trap of punishing the people involved in the group for something their leaders have done." Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson and College senior Lance Rogers said the DP's audit exposed many important issues. "I think it highlights the problems with our current system and indicates that something must be done," he said. Rogers added that the report shows that the UA's own audit of IAA "may not have been off base after all." Two months ago, the UA Budget Committee conducted an audit of the IAA, finding that the group misused $1,500 in SAC funds. But SAC Finance, which performed its own audit, determined that the IAA was not at fault. Many UA members reconsidered their support of the Budget Committee's audit after SAC Finance released its findings, and subsequently voted to send a letter to the DP apologizing to the UA. The letter was never submitted, however. But not all members have changed their minds about the validity of these audits. UA Vice Chairperson Gil Beverly, a College and Wharton senior, said he is skeptical of the DP's findings. He said he wants to hear what the IAA has to say in its defense. "A lot of people, including myself, jumped to certain conclusions the first time," he said. "I don't know enough about the IAA to say if it is or is not true." Office of Student Life Activities and Facilities Director Fran Walker said the fact that groups do not spend money in the exact way it was allocated is not a major problem. "In January 1996, all groups draw up a budget to start to spend in September 1996," she said. "That means it is a completely different set of people creating the budget from the group actually spending the budget." Walker added that if students want the exact allocations to be monitored to the penny, then more workers will have to be hired. "If that is what the student body wants, then the student body has to collectively decide to buy more help," she said.Comments powered by Disqus
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