The Associated Student Government (ASG) senate passed new legislation Tuesday, Nov. 28 overhauling the way ASG funds student organizations.
The biggest changes involve a four-tiered “reward” system that will tie the amount of money student orgs are able to request to their level of compliance with new ASG funding requirements. These new rules will mean more complexity for some student orgs, but also improve a slew of issues with the current funding system, hopes Caroline Weimer ASG secretary of finance.
“It’s a means to budget properly for funds, because when you’re giving everyone a $10,000 cap for the entire semester, it’s very difficult to anticipate how much is going to be spent and where that’s going to go,” said Weimer.
Reducing the number of student orgs in debt and increasing the overall fiscal responsibility of student organizations are two more major reasons for the change, said Caroline Weimer, ASG secretary of finance.
“We experience a lot of debt where people come in and say ‘Well, it’s not mine, we didn’t do it,’” said Weimer. “And we don’t want to penalize current officers and treasurers who have [to deal with] the effects of their past leadership.”
Spring 2018 will serve as a transition period between the current $10,000 per semester funding cap for all student orgs and the new tiered system, said Weimer. The $10,000 cap will remain in the spring semester, each student org will begin the process of fulfilling requirements to placed into one of the four tiers.
The bill, numbered SB 021609, gives ASG the power to change the requirements and rewards of the tiers at the beginning of each semester. While the rules for the coming semester are not yet finalized, Weimer proposed a potential framework to ASG Senate on Nov. 28:
- Tier 1 student organizations will be able to request a maximum of $1,500 a semester. They will be required to register their organization annually, attend president and treasurer training and keep an updated constitution on the hub. They will be allowed to attend the currently-unplanned “Mini-Mega Fair.”
- Tier 2 student organizations will be able to request a maximum of $3,000 a semester and they can apply for late night funding. In addition to Tier 1 requirements, they will be required to attend an annual meeting with a SEAL ambassador, send one representative to a SEAL workshop. They will be allowed to attend Fall Mega Fair.
- Tier 3 student organizations will be able to request a maximum of $6,000 a semester. They must fulfill most previous requirements, attend three SEAL workshops a semester, engage further with the community and attend an inclusivity workshop. They will be able to attend Winter Mega Fair.
- Tier 4 student organizations will be able to request up to $10,000 a semester. They must fulfill most previous requirements, as well as attend leadership training and create transition binders for their organizations.
The new system was developed alongside student activities and is modelled after funding schemes in place at Temple University and University of New Hampshire.
While Weimer acknowledges the system could be restrictive for some organizations, she said the tiers were structured in a way to allow as many orgs as possible to climb as high as possible.
“I think there is a fear that we are trying to keep people down and in lower tiers or things like that, but really our goal is for everyone to not only reach as high a tier as they desire, but to make the system work for them,” said Weimer. “It’s very flexible, there are quantitative measures, but there is still a lot of flexibility within that.”