Student groups may face some difficulties next semester. A lack of available funds resulted in budget cuts during the Undergraduate Student Government’s mass funding process.
At the end of each semester, clubs have to plan their events for the next semester and submit a mass funding form, which details how much money they will need from USG to run their events. This semester, 146 organizations submitted mass funding requests, totaling up to $463,939.02, the highest value USG has ever received.
“The value of the request absolutely shocked me,” said Justin Beckman, the USG vice president of finance. “It’s awesome that our student groups have these great goals and want to run fun events on campus, but it’s hard to fund all of these requests.”
USG only had $136,000 to allocate for the spring semester, just 29 percent of the total amount requested. After going through all of the mass funding requests, they decided that the ideal funding scenario would allocate $225,649.58, based on their event guidelines.
In order to cut the remaining money from the budget, USG decided to eliminate the t-shirt subsidy, and then to cut a flat percentage from each organization. Cutting the apparel subsidy, which was previously allocated as $5 per person registered on MyExperience per organization, saved between $15,000 and $20,000.
“We wanted to be as equitable as possible so that no organization felt like they were being cheated,” said Beckman. “We cut from the lowest priority events, so, ideally, everyone’s top priority event got funding in full or at least mostly.”
The Finance Committee plans to continue the dynamic rolling funding system, which takes money not used in events that have been cancelled or go under budget, and gives it to other groups. They are also looking into how to get more funding for future semesters so that this situation will not happen again.
“Any additional income that USG gets is being directed to student organizations,” says Beckman. “The way that I’m personally working to handle this situation is to be as available as I can be to answer questions and concerns that organizations have. We’re trying to be as honest and open as possible throughout the process.”