In the past week, the Student Government Association has been criticized and questioned because of our decision to decline funding to the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program.
It is my intention to inform you of the purpose of SGA's co-sponsorship committee and to explain the reasoning behind the denial.
The Co-Sponsorship Committee was established to promote student programming on campus, to those organizations exhibiting financial need. The mission of the committee states, "that we [SGA] are committed to enhancing each students' experience at Ball State University, in a positive manner, by providing financial assistance to approved campus-wide events that are free, beneficial, and educational to all students."
Last semester, the RAD program formally applied to SGA requesting funding for a series of defense workshops that would cater exclusively to women. After much deliberation, the Co-Sponsorship Committee declined funding on the basis that the program was not offered to all students, as outlined in the mission statement. SGA consulted the program organizers and asked them to consider offering the workshops to both females and males, but they dismissed the suggestion. The RAD organizers feared that the presence of males would intimidate the females in attendance and that a potential male rapist could likely attend and learn all defense tactics discussed in the class. Because of their stance, SGA was left with no other choice but to deny the RAD program funding.
As a public administration, SGA is subject to certain aspects of legality. "Public administration by its nature enjoys, or suffers, a close relationship with the law... Laws prescribe and proscribe agency activities"(as quoted from The Craft of Public Administration).Therefore, SGA must adhere to certain principles of due process, defined as "a constitutionally mandated guarantee that governments in the United States will act with fairness, justice and equality."
It is to be clarified that SGA did not deny funding to the RAD Program because of the workshops importance or effectiveness. Funding was denied because of the program's application. The same decision would have been rendered if a requesting organization catered to a specific area of study, ethnicity, or religion among others.
SGA does understand the severity of the recent rise in sexual assaults on campus and we are properly addressing this occurrence with intentions to promote prevention and awareness. However, because we do represent all students (hence the word "Student" in the title of the organization), we must provide services catered towards all of our constituents. All suggestion are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write to Tolu at email@example.com