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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB Student Life Suffers

Will easier access lead to vibrant student life?
Will easier access lead to vibrant student life?

A new plan for the redistribution of student funding to “make it easier for students” to get involved around campus was presented at a recent Student Senate meeting by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Patrick Day.

The Student Events and Organization Committee (SEOC) currently distributes funds to clubs or organizations on campus based on their need for each event planned. In order to administer an event, groups must determine all needs, make a proposal, present to senate, and wait for a decision. Former member of the Senate, Alex Kulenovic, agrees with Day’s proposal, claiming that the “cash register approach” just isn’t viable.

“When people have to come… [for funding] every time they want to have an event, you will never get a vibrant and active group of students,” Day said. “We don’t have the kinds of structures in place that facilitate an active student life.”

Instead of each club going through a lengthy process every time they want to put on an event, Day suggests that all groups meet with the Student Senate once per year. At this meeting, organizations would present their predicted budget for the following year.

This approach would benefit not only the students, but SEOC as well. As opposed to examining each event for each group, SEOC would determine amounts needed for organizations for the entire year. Though this process would be rather extensive, it would save time in the long run and allow SEOC to focus on more important issues throughout the year.

It comes as no surprise to most of us that this campus does not have the most student activity. Many blame it on the lack of dorms, noting that because UMass Boston is a commuter school everyone wants to rush home after class. Students also contribute the lack of student life to part-time jobs, claming that students do not have the time to hang around campus.

But the reality is that students have off-campus jobs at every university. And though many schools have dorms, a fair amount of students generally live off campus. Yet, other universities do have better student involvement around their campus.

“We have to find ways to make it easier for students to have events that they want to have,” Day noted. The proposal is one step in the right direction, but students must be aware of available funding for any change to take place.

Currently affiliated with the Board of Trustees, Kulenovic admitted, “many don’t know they can ask for funding.” While students have remained oblivious to accessible funding, the extra money has continued to gather in what is called the “carry forward,” waiting for students to request it.

However, this unused large amount of money is benefiting no one. “The money is there for a reason…for [students] to spend to have activities and things going on around the campus,” Day pointed out. He has hopes that if the Senate approves the plan for the reorganization of student funding, student involvement will skyrocket.

Promising turn out of students for well-publicized event disproves the myth that students are too preoccupied to take part in happenings around campus. Day noted that the key to continuous participation is “for students to get involved in the creation of student life.”