By Sydney Cromwell |
For clubs and organizations on Samford’s campus, outside funding is often the only way to hold events without making members foot the bill.
However, according to a survey taken last year by the Student Government Association, club officers are unaware that the Student Senate allocates roughly one-tenth of its annual budget to fund certain club expenditures.
To increase awareness of this resource, SGA held informational meetings Sept. 11 and 13 to explain funding guidelines and the request process to the leaders and representatives of on-campus organizations.
Last year, the Senate received funding requests from approximately 25 organizations and granted funds to 17 of them.
The money was used to sponsor events, advertisements, guest speakers, refreshments, club team uniforms and other approved expenses.
It was noted that club team costs accounted for roughly one quarter of the Senate’s $17,500 allocation fund, so this year the fund has been increased to $20,000 in an attempt to continue providing for club teams without taking away from other organizations.
Along with the increase in available funds comes a stricter set of funding guidelines.
These new guidelines limit financial support to club events that are non-exclusive, well-planned and that will have a positive impact on Samford’s campus, as determined by the Senate’s Finance Committee members.
The most important factor for committee members to consider is campus impact because the allocation fund comes from the Campus Life fee that every student pays, and they want all students to reap the benefits.
Consequently, organizations that propose plans with greater campus involvement are more likely to receive funding than those that request the money to sponsor member-only functions.
The SGA’s help for campus organizations doesn’t end with providing financial resources.
The Student Executive Board also offers help for officers with club duties, including making budgets, planning publicity and preparing funding proposals.
“We’re pushing organizations to realize the Senate Executive Board is an asset,” SGA president Cameron Thomas said.
“We’re accessible and we want them to contact us if we can help them.”
The Senate’s increased involvement in all stages of the funding process is especially beneficial for club officers who are unfamiliar with making requests or interacting with the SGA.
Matthew Donaldson and Caroline Reid, Samford Outdoor Adventure Club president and activities coordinator (respectively), are first-time officers who went to Thursday’s meeting without any knowledge of funding requirements or expectations and left feeling more prepared.
“They make it very accessible and clear about what they’ll fund,” Reid said.
“We’re going to try to create an event that involves the whole campus.”
The Senate will begin hearing funding requests at its regular Tuesday meetings, and will continue to accept applications until the allocation fund has been spent.
Any organization that desires funding should fill out the request form on the SGA OrgSync website, which also has a complete list of the revised funding guidelines.
A Senate member with further instructions will then contact the organization.
Corey Jackson, vice president of the Senate, said he hopes the fund will be completely used up this year.
“The purpose of the fund is to enrich the campus and encourage clubs to host events,” Jackson said. “We have so much, so we’re happy to help.”