By the University of Connecticut’s own volition, clubs are the lifeblood of campus culture here. After all, just think on how many times the “500+ student organizations” statistic has been touted by the university. With so many groups on campus, though, it can be hard to keep each and every one running and content. Aside from leadership, planning, space and general duties of the clubs, the biggest issue repeatedly faced around campus is funding.
Luckily, UConn backs up their commitment to student organizations financially. Or rather, we all do, as some part of tuition every semester goes toward funds that are handed back to Tier II groups on campus.The entity handling this redistribution is the Undergraduate Student Government. Their job should be easy, though: simply give back the money taken from students to the students who need it to help spur on campus culture and activities.
Historically, though, this hasn’t been the case. Having five hundred clubs is great for students, but it can be a nightmare to deal with each and every request from them. In the past, USG funding staff has been overwhelmed and as such has leaned on the side of stringency, but this obviously doesn’t suit the needs of students, the very students giving financial legitimacy to the group.
So, it is with cautious optimism that we learn of new funding policies within USG specifically made to fix this. While details are glossed over, officials say these changes should make the funding process more generous and streamlined.
While skeptics can remain self-assured in the vague wording and USG’s history of process bloat, it is a nice thought that things may change for the better for groups around campus. Again, it is student money that ultimately funds these clubs, so it should be as easy as possible for them to get it back for their club, so long as it is for legitimate purposes.
The idea of clubs getting up to $10,000 (and therefore trusting that much with young adults) is scary to many, apparently even to USG. It must be stressed, though, that there are many enriching and exciting things done with these funds, from conferences to performances to impressive products. With USG changing their policies to be more aware and appreciative of these efforts, we can only hope that UConn’s student organizations will further flourish.