The ASWC Budget Committee held a meeting to discuss some pending requests for funds from the Senate on March 12. With the exception of one group that was absent, all clubs’ requests were approved for funding. While this should spark some excitement for these clubs, they may have just become contributed to the problems Senate has this semester.
The budget of the ASWC Senate is running low for the remainder of the Spring semester. It poses as a problem for Senate to support events that are planning to take place in this semester, in addition to the upcoming Fall semester. With low means of funding groups and organizations, Senate has been finding every possible way to help clubs and organizations on campus to run their events.
There is quite a bit of reason that the budget has become a problem for Senate. One is the cost of events that take place in part of graduation. “A lot of that is because graduations, so we funded four cultural graduations already, which is part of the reason,” said Treasurer of ASWC Senate Jacob Conlon. Senate is proud to support events like these since they connect the school community. “We understand that if the organization is coming to Senate for funding, it’s probably something that betters the community,” said Conlon. In addition, the student count for this semester is labeled at 1,529, a 97-student drop from 1,627 from the previous semester. These numbers, provided by Conlon, is significant as each student is billed $120 for student activities that contribute to the budget that Conlon works with to disperse to groups and organizations on campus, as well as allocating funds to events. The estimated amount of funds that were missed out could be tallied to about $11,640, given the numbers. These funds are missed as Senate tries to approve as many activities for the Spring semester.
While the fact remains that funds are running low, Conlon has shared some thought of possible changes to the constitution in regard to the budget. He explains how there had been some small changes that, “gave Budget Committee the power to make decisions on anything that is $2,500 or less, and if the money or event that is being requested for that amount or less, budget committee was allowed to decide that,” but provided no more changes. These changes were made for budget purposes, nothing towards funding code, which Conlon felt there should be some changes. “We are working on revisiting that, because we do think it is a little out of date. . . we are looking into making it a better document,” said Conlon.
While Senate may be running low on funds to allocate, they attempt to help any club or organization receive resources. “Senate always wanted to show ourselves as the link between students and administration,” said Conlon. “Even though we cannot directly fund clubs, we want to be their voice and their guidance in talking to other sources of funding.” Conlon, nor the Budget Committee wishes to discourage any club or organization from coming to them to receive aid. They will continue to help by voicing for the club to other source from other resources. “So, if it ends up being that we run out of money because there are so many brilliant ideas and great events that are going to be happening … we are going to try to get money from of other places.”