By Mike Sherr
The Student Finance Board met on Feb. 3 to hear budget proposals from student organizations planning to pay for events and activities for the spring 2021 semester. Student organizations have had to change the way they conduct events due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and many of these changes need serious financing.
Since most events are currently virtual and the few that are in person are limited in size, organizations have had to come up with creative ways to host engaging events.
Even with creative and engaging ideas, organizations may not be able to hold events because of the College’s pandemic protocol or due to a lack of funding from the board. Chabad, a Jewish organization at the College, requested funds from the board to create packages to send out to its members to celebrate their birthdays on the Jewish calendar, though the request was denied due to requirements for events to be open to the entire College community.
Student organizations that want to have an in-person event have to submit a risk assessment form from the Office of Student Involvement, which has to be considered by the board for them to fund it. The Office of Student Involvement also wants “student organizations [to] reimagine meetings, events, and activities using physical distancing and virtual options for larger groups or students who are unable to participate in person,” which groups are being forced to do either way.
To even consider having in-person events, organizations have to ensure that members of the community will be safe and that the risk of exposure to Covid-19 is at a minimum. Student organizations have had to upgrade or buy completely new equipment to fulfill this need.
The Pep Band, usually an organization that fills Lions Stadium with music, has been forced to have only virtual performances that are posted onto a YouTube channel. This semester, the student organization is going to attempt an in-person performance sometime in March, but they need funds to purchase equipment like musicians’ masks to make playing safe. The band made and was granted a special request for about $1,600 from the board for this equipment.
All student organization events, whether funded by the board or not, can be found at @thisweekattcnj on Instagram.