Talking Money Matters with Kodinna Anachebe

An Interview with the Student Body Head Treasurer

Quest Editor Wani Pandey sat down with Head Treasurer (AKA Monarch Money) Kodinna Anachebe ‘23 to discuss money, club funding, and student body treasury!

We try to ask a lot of questions when people are presenting their budgets, ‘Do you really like need this thing for this? Can you get this funding from other places?’ Because there’s lots of sources for institutional funding or funding from the administration or funding from departments.
— Head Treasurer Kodinna Anachebe

Treasury itself is managed by three students appointed by Student Senate’s Appointments Committee. Anyone appointed to Treasury begins as an Assistant Treasurer (AKA Baby Money) and works to learn disbursements while completing a part time internship with the Business Office. They spend their time as Assistant Treasurer learning the intricacies of funding with the elected members of Senate. After a semester, Assistant Treasurer becomes Vice Treasurer (AKA Middle Money) and begins doing reconciliations—the name for the process of ensuring that receipts and purchases match up—for the Senate purchase card. Anachebe emphasizes, “We do not commit fraud.” After their semester as Middle Money, Treasurers reach their final form and achieve the position of Head Treasurer. During their final semester on Treasury it is their job to balance the budget, wages, manage the endowment, and mentor the junior treasurers. 

To begin our time together, Anachebe describes the way to get funding:

“There’s different pools of money and different ways to access those different pools of money…Top 40/30 and Funding Poll — those are related. So for that pool of money you would specifically have to create a budget and then you would register your club, and then you would have people vote for your club and funding poll, and there’s this thing called Top 6, which are the top six clubs. They just get more time enduring Funding Circus, which is when all of [Student Body] Senate sits down and listens to people present their budgets, and then we deliberate and allocate funds. There’s a Finance Committee, which is usually once a week every week where people…can come to request money, and then we deliberate. It’s just a smaller pool of Senators though and the Treasurers. And then there’s Identity Funding which is a separate pool of money for minoritized groups on campus — we don’t want them to have to compete in Top 40/30 because they’re minoritized groups.”

Funding Circus and Funding Hell, named “in the past but it’s kind of an institutional thing” now, is the day-long event where clubs present their budget to Senate and Treasury. After the week of Funding Poll, as the Reed Student Body votes on student clubs and organizations, Anachebe “makes a schedule, and then [assigns] how much time people get to present their budgets based on how high they are ranked by the students. So it’s in ten minute increments, and then five minutes, with Top 40 in the fall, Top 30 in the spring, and then identity funding is at the end of that.”

Making the decision of who gets what amount of money is up to the Senators and Treasurers. The group goes through the budgets in the order that they were presented, and decides “based on whether or not we think that thing is necessary for the club based on the information we have, we try to ask a lot of questions when people are presenting their budgets, like ‘Do you really like need this thing for this? Can you get this funding from other places?’ Because there’s lots of sources for institutional funding or funding from the administration or funding from departments.”

A couple different values drive the decisions on funding, and both Senators and Treasurers have to reconcile with their duties and responsibilities. “We’re student body elected officials, we have constituents that we need to think about, and I feel like that is for Senators. As for Treasurers, we’re kind of separated from that to a degree because we’re appointed and not elected, so there’s a certain degree of us not necessarily having constituents. That being said, we think about how much money we are willing to spend for the good of students because all these funds do come from the student body fee. So we think that whatever we are funding should impact a great number of students to the best possible ability of the club.”

After Funding Poll, Circus, and Hell, clubs can get money from Finance Committee, which happens each week. All club organizers need is to be signator trained, which happens at the start of every semester, but also can be completed by watching the training video, signing the contract, and emailing it to Students can then present budgets to Finance Committee, and then hear back about a week after the Committee’s deliberations. 

It’s not a simple task managing the student budget and meeting all the expectations of the students. “We don’t have that much money to fund all the events, so we did end up cutting people’s budgets in a way that I don’t think they expected them to be cut.  I want people to know that, in balancing the budget…we’re not just slashing budgets to slash budgets, we’re slashing budgets based on what we think would be fundamental and necessary and important.”

Anachebe also wants students to know that Treasury’s doors are always open for students to discuss money and have a conversation about where the student body funds should go. 

More than anything, Treasury needs to know the desires of the Student Body. Anachebe points out: “I would say that would be the most important thing, because we like ‘decide’ because we are elected and appointed. That being said, we have constituents, so we should pay attention to those constituents, otherwise we shouldn’t be in the student body positions that we are in.”

It’s a delicate balance between Senate and Treasury: both bodies have a duty to the student body, but Treasury received specific training for a defined area of Student Body oversight. 

Monarch Money talked about the importance of Treasurer autonomy, particularly with the amount of training they receive, and the amount of time that they spend thinking specifically about money with folks all over the college, particularly those in the Business Office. While the relationship between Treasury and Senate has improved since the days of Treasurers badmouthing Senate (and Senators on the walls of their office) they still don’t all receive a vote. As it is structured now, each Senator and the Student Body Vice President get a vote, and as a result of a student body-wide poll the Head Treasurer Anachebe’s position was given a vote, but the remaining two Treasurers are still in an advisory capacity despite their expertise in funding. “At the end of the day, we do have the training, and also were appointed for this specific situation of dealing with money.”

Finally, as a matter of accounting Anachebe reminds you to “always submit your receipts.”

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