The amount of money student organizations at the University of Connecticut are able to request per year from Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has decreased from $12,000 to $10,000, according to USG Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer Seeya Sodani.
These cuts, which were proposed and voted on earlier this year in April, are expected to affect about 35 clubs who routinely ask for more than $10,000 every year, according to Sodani.
“In the past we’ve had a surplus, so we’ve always had extra money to spend, which is why we upped the (amount of funds per group) but then we found out that in the next few years we’re expected to run a deficit, which means that in two years we’ll be running out of money,” Sodani said.
According to Sodani, these financial cuts were a preemptive action to prevent the organization from running out of money. They hoped that by reducing the amount given to each club and by cutting some internal spending, they could stop that from happening, Sodani said..
“What we’ve also found is that there has also been an increase in the amount of organizations that do request funding… in the past year alone the amount of clubs that requested funding from (the USG) increased by 150,” Sodani said.
According to Sodani, despite the number of clubs increasing dramatically every year, USG has yet to receive a fee increase. With the same amount of money to spread between more clubs, they were forced to reduce the amount each club was allowed to request, Sodani said.
“We are hoping to petition for a fee increase this year,” Sodani said.
Sodani said USG is looking at ways it can cut back on the money it is currently spending to help make the most of the current balance.
“Another thing we’re doing is looking at inventory. We’ve noticed that a lot of groups request the same equipment, like go-pros and speakers… We’re hoping to have a rental system of some sort and purchase equipment and then rent it out so then many organizations can use it,” Sodani said.
Sodani hopes USG can help reverse this problem by cutting back on repeat spending and “focusing on cutting internal spending while at the same type maximizing the amount of money given back to students.”
According to Sodani, USG is looking to hold itself more accountable by cutting back on internal spending and decreasing the amount of events it hosts.
“We used to have a lot events that we’d hold for students but we realised that a lot of the events we were holding used a lot more money than they brought in,” Sodani said.
According to Sodani, USG is hoping to combine as many events as possible so they maximize the amount of money they put into it.
Sodani said that over the course of this year they are hoping to get more people involved in USG to help them fight for a fee increase as well as hold more town meetings to get students involved.
She said that USG is “hoping to do more (town meetings) to hear what students have to say because they’re the ones who are affected.”
Molly Desrochers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.