Associated Students takes over remains of the clubs budget
The Associated Students Programs Grants budget has been cut by more than half of the previous academic year’s budget to $25,000 from $52,000. With student enrollment on the decline since 2016, student fees. which make up the entire AS budget, have taken a significant hit.
As a result of the cuts, it was decided the control of the budgets would be kept within the Associated Students Board of Finance for this academic year. All student clubs are allowed to apply for AS grants, either for events or travel.
Grant requests are brought to the Associated Students Board of Finance for evaluation before being handed off to the Associated Students Board of Directors, made up of 15 voting and three non-voting members, for final approval.
In the past five years, between about 10-18% of the AS Programs Grants budget has gone to AS category two programs like CCAT and the MultiCultural Center, which receive separate funding through different outlets. This year, AS decided clubs will receive the entire AS Programs Grants budget in the 2019-2020 academic year.
The AS Board is currently in the process of their third and final grant allocation for the 2019-2020 academic year. So far, the Board of Directors has approved grants to all 29 clubs that requested—however, not all requests have been entirely met.
As a result of the budget reduction, AS put in place a cap of $500 per event, $800 per cultural event and $100 per person for travel. The Board of Directors will hold their final vote on March 13 to decide the 11 remaining grant requests for the academic year.
AS Legislative Vice President Jeremiah Finley is working to provide a fair opportunity for all clubs to receive funding.
“I think clubs always need more access to more funds across the board,” Finley said. “I think the goal of AS here is to really try to make sure that they do have access to funds. And so, in trying to do that, we’re trying on our part, to find ways in our budget to make sure they have access.”
The clubs budget reduction has forced everyone involved to be more responsible with their spending, according to Clubs and Activities Coordinator Molly Kresl.
“That’s something that’s been really cool that’s come out of this unfortunate situation,” Kresl said. “Even though we have a decrease in funding, there’s an increase in collaboration with student-initiated programs.”
However, there’s still much improvement to be made. AS wants to hear the voices of students that are affected by these decisions. For students who want to take matters into their own hands, they can sign up as a candidate for the AS Board.
“AS is doing the best with the situation that they’re having to navigate through,” Kresl said. “It’s important to recognize the complexity of the situation, and that there are ways that we can help our students be successful and do what they wanna do on campus.”