Deadline for mass funding from USG approaches

Rolling funding coffers “scraping bottom of the barrel”

Arielle Soffer, Staff Reporter

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) is the main provider of both pre-allocated and unplanned funding for Case Western Reserve University’s many student organizations, and although USG has managed to get clubs and activities to use the money available, its initial supply of funds has not necessarily been able to keep up with the later demand for money requested for unexpected expenses.

Student organizations may apply for two types of funding, which each serve different purposes. The first, mass funding, is money allocated to organizations by USG each semester. This pool of money is usually put towards major events, or given to organizations which have a projected budget for the entire semester. Organizations may submit a request for mass funding for the upcoming spring 2014 semester from Nov. 11 until Nov. 22.

The second type of funding is rolling funding. This pool of money is relatively smaller than the pool of money allocated for mass funding and is given to organizations as supplemental funding or as backup for unforeseen or emergency expenditures. The Finance Committee, which is primarily responsible for dispensing all USG funding, employs a “dynamic” system for rolling funding, meaning that all money allocated to organizations that is unused because of a cancelled event or otherwise, must be recycled back into the pool for rolling funding. The Finance Committee is accepting requests for rolling funding until Monday, Dec. 2.

After a financial request of any sort is submitted, the Finance Committee, which conducts weekly open meetings on Thursdays at 7 p.m., breaks up into subcommittees of two to three people to do preliminary reviews of these requests side-by-side with the Student Organization Handbook and the USG Funding Bylaws. The subcommittees will then reconvene and present their reviews, and the Finance Committee as a whole will vote on allocations, which can be in full or in part, according to what the Finance Committee deems worthy of funding.

The review process was changed in the spring 2013 semester in an effort to expedite the funding process and provide organizations with allocation decisions more efficiently. Previously, decisions had to be written up as a bill by the Finance Committee and presented to the General Assembly for a final vote. Now, the Finance Committee is able to make the final decision on all financial requests made to USG.

Recently, the amount of available money for rolling funding has been approaching a low for the semester. As of Oct. 24, the rolling funding account had a balance of $415.20, and the Finance Committee agreed to accept requests over the amount available left in the account, but would not guarantee the entire amount to be granted. In the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Finance Committee held on Oct. 31, it was understood that USG is no longer able to fund large requests from the pool of money dedicated to rolling funding.

“Because rolling funding requests are reviewed in the order they are received and are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, they tend to pile up this far into the semester,” said Justin Beckman, the vice president of USG. “We have been scraping the bottom of the barrel of the pool for rolling funding each week.”

The Finance Committee will accept requests until the there are no longer rolling funds available.

Mass funding reviews are done with a more holistic approach, allowing the Finance Committee to take every organization’s financial request for the semester into account before making final decisions. This ensures that every organization receives the portion of money it deserves. Reviews for mass funding will occur on Nov. 23, the day after the deadline for submitting requests.

If an organization is dissatisfied with the decision made for a financial request, the organization may submit an appeal. The Executive Committee is then responsible for reviewing appeals, and may choose to deny the appeal, accept it or subtract money from the initial allocation of funds granted by the Finance Committee, upon reevaluation. Dates for submitting appeals are in the process of being solidified, and will be sent out to students in the next email from USG.