This fall, new clubs approved by the Student Government Association (SGA) will not be able to simply apply for a budget and receive one from the Student Finance Board (SFB), Julia Pratt, SFB chairperson, said.
The new procedure for new clubs to obtain SFB-approved budgets will involve each new club submitting a request to SFB for a budget and then being assigned an SFB representative. That representative, Pratt said, will go to the organization’s meetings to find out more about it, and for what it needs funding.
SFB representatives will report back to the board about the meetings they have attended and make recommendations to fund their organizations or not. If recommended, organizations will receive budgets.
If organizations are not recommended for funding by their SFB representatives, then they will have the opportunity to appeal the decision, explaining to the board why they should be funded and clearing up any confusion. The board members can then decide to fund the organization.
If an organization still does not receive budget approval, it must significantly change the circumstances that made SFB not want to fund it, Pratt said, in order for it to be reconsidered for a budget.
Pratt said the change was made because it is not possible for SFB to keep approving so many new clubs’ budgets. “It is difficult to keep giving budgets to new clubs because we’re constantly getting more clubs but using the same amount of money,” Pratt said. “Then the money that can be given to each club decreases.”
This is despite the fact that SFB has approximately $56,000 more to work with this year than it had last year, due to a $10 increase in each student’s Student Activity Fee (SAF). This semester, each student paid $66.50 in his or her tuition bill toward this fee.
Because each student must pay this amount, SFB is limiting the new clubs it approves for funding to those that appeal to a wider range of students.
“The nature of some organizations doesn’t fit with what SFB funds,” Pratt said, explaining that no department- or major-centered organizations will receive budgets. “We want to fund those organizations that offer things for everyone on campus.”
Because of this, she said most of the money that SFB appropriates will go toward the College Union Board (CUB), which hosts large-scale entertainment events tailored for all students at the College. “CUB will work with approximately $100,000 this year, so it can get a really big comedian and really great musician,” Pratt said.
However, some students feel that not funding organizations specific to departments and majors is unfair.
Aileen McCandless, former president of the International Studies Club, said “having clubs specific to majors helps to appeal to certain groups of students and allows for those students to interact with each other and learn from each other, especially students who are new to the major.”
The senior international studies and political science major said she also feels SFB does not provide enough for small organizations, which prevents them from being able to grow. Because new organizations usually start out small, she feels this is another unfair way of limiting new clubs.
“By limiting small clubs’ budgets, you are basically saying they are not as important as, say, SGA,” McCandless said. “And for those students who are involved in the small clubs, it’s frustrating and ultimately causes the demise of that group because there’s not much you can do without funding.”
This summer, SFB also decided it will not accept any new club sport budgets whatsoever.
“We have six men’s teams, six women’s teams, and two co-gendered,” Pratt said. “That’s in line with what the College has in terms of Varsity, and we won’t add unless an existing one goes.”
In addition, SFB will not approve budgets for organizations similar to already existing ones. “We want organizations that are totally new. No more duplicating,” Pratt said.
Other changes SFB will be implementing this fall include a new policy that organizations can only request funding for one conference per academic year.
SFB will be accepting applications for freshmen representatives and senior representative until Sept. 6, and will hold its first meeting to accept requests Sept. 14.