The funding process should be easy 

Clubs and other student organizations should be receiving the money that they need so that students can interact with each other more often. Photo by Alexander Mils/Pexels.

Clubs and organizations in college are the best way to socialize with people sharing similar interests and are a great way to get involved on campus. A lot of these organizations contribute to the community and provide other students and also non-students with useful resources. Ideally, students should have the freedom to pursue their ideas and plan out as many fun, meaningful activities and projects as they want. Nevertheless, what keeps an organization together is not just the unison and the values of members, but, most importantly, money. From promoting the organization and for the events to take place, financial support is essential for them to take place; however, many organizations, most of which are small and have only a small number of members, are having trouble with the funding process. Sometimes, the funding form gets declined without an explanation or because it was sent “too close” to the deadline. Besides that, there are just too many restrictions for funding and that prevents a lot of activities for new and inexperienced organizations. 

I thought of my past schools’ funding policies and realized that different schools have different rules. Some schools offered basic subsidies to organizations that have passed a certain procedure. Even though it was not a lot of money, it was enough for the members to compose the basic framework and form ideas for future activities. However, although the organization I belonged to used that money only for project supplies, there is no guarantee that all the organizations would use the money wisely. Even if there had to be a certification process afterwards, thinking of how many organizations there are throughout the campus, it would be hard for the school to oversee. 

They would not want organizations to use the money on unnecessary equipment or for personal use and I respect the university’s policies for that. It is financially risky, and it would be even harder to set the standards and how to distribute the money to clubs by the number of members, past achievements and so forth. 

So, unfortunately, giving out basic activity fees cannot really be the best solution for this problem as it is a complicated matter. However, there are small changes that can be made to the funding policy that can reduce the burden of financial support for many organizations. Reducing the six-week prior funding application submission to at the most to four weeks; accepting applications that are sent a day or two before the deadline; evaluating applications within a week and replying to emails about the reason or denial as soon as possible. And although this might be controversial — and I do not really know the exact reason why this is prohibited — allowing funding for goods and materials to hold fundraisers meant to financially support a better club environment. These are just the few problems I have faced, and I believe there are more. As someone who is not associated with the funding approval process, it is understandable that there are certain barriers from making all these changes. Most people like me are not familiar with the behind-the-scenes process of funding applications evaluations and do not know the reasons for the existing policies. However, if the Undergraduate Student Government can consider these solutions to the student organization’s complaints, it would create a better situation to apply for financial support without being hesitant and hopeless. 

Fortunately, USG is providing funding training and tutorials for Tier-II organizations, so there might be some small and big changes to the funding process; and hopefully, through more feedback for rejected funding application, explanations of why some of the strict policies exist, and overall thorough communication between the two groups, I believe we can make club activities livelier and encourage new clubs and ideas to emerge through the surface.  

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