The Student Activities Commission will present a draft of a proposed new funding system to club leaders Wednesday night that features a more flexible allocation system.
If the proposal is met with approval at the forum, commissioners said that they will implement the changes in time for next semester. In the new system, groups would be required to submit a comprehensive budget to the commission but would have more leeway in deciding where to focus their spending, addressing club leaders’ past criticisms of the current system’s rigidity.
According to SAC Chairman Andy Koenig (COL ’12) and Vice-Chair Ruiyong Chen (SFS ’13), commissioners have worked hard to include student group feedback in the new funding system.
“Commissioners have been reaching out to student groups at a personal level,” Koenig said. “We can’t create this system in a vacuum. We definitely understand that student group input is an important part in this. This system is for student organizations.”
Under the current model, student groups submit their programming plans for the semester, listing events by types based on their categories and sizes. The organization is then allocated a set amount of funding for each event.
Koenig and Chen explained that this system’s flaws stem from variances in how much events actually cost. In the potentially revamped system, student groups will submit line-item budgets for each of their intended programs. Groups will not be required to plan for every individual purchase, but instead will budget for general categories such as food or space rental.
“There is an issue that student groups have raised, thinking that we are going to be going through these budgets with a fine-toothed comb saying, ‘You can save eight dollars here and 10 dollars there,'” Koenig said. “However, in actuality, we’re going to allow groups as much leeway as possible.”
Commissioners also said that the new system will increase flexibility when it comes to adding programming requests mid-semester, addressing another major concern that group leaders have raised about the current system.
“Groups will be able to add events midyear, assuming they can meet a certain set of requirements,” Chen said. “But you can definitely present programs midyear with this system.”
Koenig said that he hopes that Wednesday’s forum will allow students to bring up issues to further refine the proposal.
“If things come together and are working well by the beginning of November, we will be set to switch to the new system for the second semester,” Koenig said.
While the discussion about next year’s funding guidelines continues, SAC is also preparing for elections of a new chairman. Each of the three candidates in the election, which will wrap up Thursday, expressed dissatisfaction with current policies and procedures.
The candidates — Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14), Dalvin Butler (COL ’13) and Carlos DeLaTorre (COL ’13) — all said that they will work to continue the reform process. The winner of the election will take the helm of SAC in January.