Spring Budgeting for Clubs and Centers More Efficient

Ben Whelan

If campus seems a little more active than it did at this time last year, it is all thanks to the new fiscal funding policy introduced last year and implemented for the first time this year.

Normally, around this time each year, all of the fifty-eight clubs and centers on the UMass Boston campus would be holed up in their offices furiously planning and calculating budgets for the upcoming semester and presenting them to the Student Events and Organization Council of the Senate for approval. The SEOC, chaired by Senate veteran Dennis Bogere, would then stay late into the night, carefully vetting and analyzing each proposal, item by item, line by line, until every available dollar had been allotted to a hopeful club or student center. The entire process would take weeks of burning the candle on both ends for all of the students involved, Senators and those in clubs and centers alike, and in the end, everyone would be overworked, overstressed and an absentee from the rest of campus life.

This year, however, the process was smooth and timely and released the students back into the light of day promptly, in no small part thanks to the new budgeting system. In the new system, students and clubs are asked to request funding and plan programming for the entire year in the fall instead of doing it on a semester-by-semester basis. As a result, much of the heavy lifting was done in the fall, and this round of spring budgeting involved a much smaller number of groups requesting funding, and therefore less work for everyone.

All told, the SEOC divided the $34,188 allotted for spring budgeting to thirty-one different organizations. $28,133, or 82% of the total, in supplemental funds was allotted to the twenty-one existing clubs, and $1,650, or about 5% of the total, was allotted to the centers.

Among some of the clubs receiving the largest amount of supplemental funds were LUX magazine, which received $4,500 to put out their spring issue, CHORD Magazine, which received $3,000 to fund their production costs and the Haitian American Society, which received $3,000 to help fund their 8th Annual Tchaka Night. The clubs that received no supplemental funding for the spring semester included the CNHS Senior Class Officer Council, The Real Life Christian Fellowship, VIBE and CASCA. Among the centers, Casa Latina received $750 out of a requested $1,500, and the Queer Student Center received $900 out of a requested $1,500.

In addition to the existing clubs and centers, nine new clubs also activated for the spring semester, and many of them also requested and received funding from the Senate. One such organization is the UMB Chess Club, which has won many tournaments and been very successful in competitive play in recent years against the likes of local powers Harvard and MIT. They have not been an official club until this semester and are receiving Senate funding for the first time since ********. The club is receiving $2,500 out of a requested $7,608 to cover expenses, including tournament entrance fees and a portion of their travel and transportation costs. Another club to newly activate for spring is the Student Film Association, which received $1,050 out of a requested $1,880, in order to screen films and hold discussions about them.

Other clubs to activate this semester include the Accounting and Finance Academy, the Open Source Club, the Somali Students Association, the West Indies Alliance, the Human Rights Working Group, Change for a Life and the UMB Debate Team. In total, new clubs received $4,405, or about 13% of the total allotment, and as a policy, no new club was allowed to request more than $2,500.

Even though the workload for spring was a little lighter, these decisions are never easy, and while nobody walks away with everything they want, Bogere and his committee do their best. “SEOC considers criteria such as past events, usage of funding, and content of new requests for funds as contributing factors in determining who receives what funding,” explained Bogere in a statement released to the Mass Media.

With all of these new clubs and organizations on campus with money to spend, UMB students should expect some very interesting programming this semester. If you’re interested in getting involved in any of these opportunities, or simply learning more about them, many club and center spaces are located on the third floor of the Campus Center, and more information about any club or center can be found at the front desk of the Student Life office.

Current ClubsIota Phi Theta $600Martial Arts Club $500Marketing Club $700UMB Gold Club $500Faith Alive Initiative $1,860UMB Sailing Club $1,023Vietnamese Student Association $1,750Student nurse Association $550Haitian American Society $3,000Non-Aligned Club $2,850MSIS $300Students In Business $1,050African Student Union $2,600History Club $850CHORD Magazine $3,000Native American Student Society $2,500CNHS Senior Class Officer Council Not fundedLUX Student Magazine $4,500Real Life Christian Fellowship Not fundedVision for Innovative bible Exploration Not fundedCASCA Not funded

Current CentersCasa Latina $750Queer Student Center $900

Newly Activated ClubsAccounting and Finance Academy $255Open Source Club Not fundedSomali Students Association Not fundedUMB Chess Club $2,500West Indies Alliance Not fundedHuman Rights Working Group Not fundedChange For A Life $200Student Film Association $1,050UMB Debate Team $400