Letter to the Editor – Clarifying the Coop Store Renovation Plan

I am writing to clarify some of the confusion surrounding the recent motion passed by the ASPC Senate regarding the renovation of the ASPC Coop Store. On Feb. 28, 2011, the ASPC Senate decided to allow the ASPC Coop Committee to proceed investigating a potential renovation of the store by voting to have floor plans designed based on a ceiling of funds that it might be willing and able to spend on the project. The ASPC Senate has not yet voted on proceeding with the renovation because there is no clear sense of the actual cost of the renovation or of what process it would entail.

In allowing the Coop Committee to proceed, the Senate agreed to spend $10,000 of its reserves in order to cover the firm’s standard design fee. The Senate further directed the Committee to tell the design firm that it was unwilling to spend any more than $100,000 on a project ($10,000 for design, $90,000 for construction), and that it would look more favorably upon a much less expensive proposal.

To put this $10,000 into context, the Senate is charged with properly allocating its operating budget of approximately $435,000. It is further charged with overseeing the management of over $500,000 in reserves, nearly half of which is allocated to socially responsible investments. Over time, the ASPC has accumulated its reserves through surplus. The reserves, as well as the income generated through investments and interest, are used to supplement its operating budget. They are also set aside for emergencies, large expenditures not planned for in the yearly budget, and a championship fund that enables ASPC to fund club sports and teams invited to attend national competitions. Each year, ASPC is permitted to spend up to 25 percent of its total reserves.

On that note, I would like to stress that spending $10,000 of ASPC funds in absolutely no way precludes the Senate from pursuing other large projects now or in the future. In fact, even spending up to the ceiling amount of $100,000 in no way precludes the Senate from pursuing further large projects. If students have ideas for such projects, they should not hesitate to submit proposals to Senate@aspc.pomona.edu.

Both the Coop Store and the Coop Fountain are ASPC businesses, and it is the ASPC’s responsibility to maintain them. In order to make an informed decision about whether or not to renovate the Coop Store now or later, a clear idea of what the renovation would look like and exactly what the cost would be is needed. The Senate essentially voted to allow the Coop Committee to obtain that information. Once that information is available, the Senate will make it available to fellow students so that an informed decision with the input of the student body can be made.

Stephanie Almeida PO ’11

ASPC President

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