Choir says budget cuts unfair

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By Jill Joskitalo

The Oakham House Choir is singing the blues this year.

The choir’s $4,000 budget was slashed in half in August, in part to make way for a contingency fund for new societies.

In a letter to John Fabrizio, RyeSAC’s general manager and chair of the Oakham House Management Committee, choir manager Marie Dowler said the choir is unfairly bearing the cost of funding the new societies.

But according to Fabrizio, financial records show the choir doesn’t use all of its allotted budget each year.

“In only one year of the past five, I believe did they need $4,000,” Fabrizio said.  “Some years they only used $1,000, other years they used only $2,000.  There wasn’t a history of them needing $4,000.”

When asked what would happen if the choir needed the full budget to operate this year, Fabrizio said they would just have to “work within the budget they have.”

Dowler would not comment on the situation, but in her letter she said the choir has always spent all of its grant.

The choir holds several concerts each year. F unds raised at the concerts go toward such things as the conductor’s fee and production.  Dowler said the $4,000 is necessary for the choir to break even.

RyeSAC is responsible for managing all Oakham House societies.  The budget for the six active societies including the choir is $20,000.  The debating society receives $4,500 and the White Wall Review gets $4,000.  All other societies receive around $2,000 and $1,500 has been set aside to form new societies.

Only debating and choir experienced a significant decrease in their funding.  Last year, debating received around $7,200.

Fabrizio anticipates Oakham will complete an audit of the choir’s records in a few weeks, after which a meeting will be held to try to resolve the issue.

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