Following shortages of available money for student group funding, Case Western Reserve University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) proposed changes to the allocation of the Student Activities Fee (SAF) that would give themselves an additional $20,000 in financial resources for next year.
The SAF is a fee paid by all undergraduate students in addition to tuition. The exact amount changes every year, since it sits at 0.8 percent of yearly tuition. Currently that total amounts to just over $155 per student per semester. The fee splits between a number of student umbrella organizations on campus, including USG, University Programming Board (UPB), University Media Board (UMB), Greek Life and the Class Officers Collective (COC). It also helps fund events like Senior Week, Springfest and Thwing Study Over (TSO). These groups meet together with the Residence Hall Association and serve as the Student Executive Council.
USG’s proposed increase would result in cuts to other SEC members, with UMB taking the biggest decrease at 1.3 percent of their budget. UPB would lose .70 percent; Greek Life, .60 percent; COC, .25 percent; Senior Week, .30 percent; and TSO, .30 percent of their budget. There would be no decrease to Springfest’s budget. These proposed changes would result in a 2.85 percent increase to USG’s funding.
For the spring semester of 2014, USG was only able to allocate 32 percent of requested funds to student organizations. With 76 percent of all undergraduate students involved in a USG recognized organization, USG President Dan Gallo emphasized the effect that this change would have.
“The increase in allocation will allow more students to have leadership opportunities on campus, picking up valuable traits that they will carry with them after graduation; will facilitate bigger and better student-run events and will create a better undergraduate experience for all students,” said Gallo. “I would not be recommending an allocation change if I did not believe that the students would be better off as a result.”
The SEC will be voting on the proposed measure at their next meeting, scheduled for March 20.