Senate Roundup: Club Budget Breakdown

Ben Whelan

At the Sept. 26 Student Senate meeting, the joint assembly ratified the 2007 budget for clubs and centers which the Student Events and Organizations Council had spent countless hours to finalize.

In all, 50 clubs and 8 centers received shares of the $200,705 dollars that had been budgeted to the SEOC, primarily from Student Activities Trust Fund. The SATF receives $42 in student fees from each student, and this year budgeted $130,705 for use by SEOC.

After receiving the funding requests submitted by each club and center, the SEOC, chaired by Senator Muna Kangsen, stayed late into the night in order to determine how to distribute the funds in such a way that would be fair as possible to each club while at the same time serving the overall student body.

After many tough decisions, the SEOC found that they were still unable to give the clubs and centers what they determined to be fair allotments, and so requested $100,000 in additional funding from the carry forward fund, the surplus fund from previous administrations.

The SEOC received $70,000 of the additional funding so they could attempt to give every organization the funds that they needed in order to complete their proposed programming. The remaining money pulled from carry forward was used to fund Senate outreach, which received $23,000, and the other $7,000 to hire a secretary in order to help the Senate manage its overwhelming administrative needs.

Not everyone got exactly what they wanted as there is only so much to go around, but the clubs that received the largest amounts of funding varied greatly in terms of their goals and the communities that they serve.

In order, the top five funded clubs this academic year are: African Student Union, which got $7,000 out of $9,900 requested; Haitian American Society, which received $7,000 out of $10,675; Model U.N., Pre-Med Society and Sailing Club which received $6,000 out of requested funds of $10,000; $8,630 and $9,900 respectively.

The clubs that received the lowest percentages of the funds they requested were the Students in Business, which requested $12,750 and received $2,800, 22 percent of their proposal; The Vietnamese Student Association which requested $8,600 and received $2,000, 23 percent; and the Beacon Cheerleading Club which requested $9,476 and received $2,400, 25 percent.

Allocations of money were based on, for the most part, the strength of the organizations programming as decided by SEOC. “Our allocations of funds to clubs and centers for the 2007/2008 Academic years were influenced by several things. Clubs that have a track record of successful programs on campus, clubs with programs that had a strong academic component, and clubs with programs that addressed social justice issues received substantially more than recreational and spiritual clubs,” remarked Senator Kangsen,” No club got everything that it asked for but we did our best.”

The student centers on the whole received $64,700, with no center receiving less than $7,000 or more than $8,000. It should be noted that the centers are required to put on programming and clubs are not, a major factor taken into consideration when allocating funds. Another factor is that all centers are meant to serve as umbrella organizations for numerous other clubs.

In the end, when the clubs are broken down into categories of cultural, academic, social political, arts, recreation and spirituality, academic clubs received the greatest amount of funding at $41,395. The category of club that received the least amount of money was spirituality-oriented clubs, which received a total of $5,760, although only four such clubs requested money.