Editor's note: The Collegian received $5,059 of its $23,229.65 requested funding.
Richmond College Student Government Association (RCSGA) and Westhampton Student Government Association (WCGA) held their annual joint Student Organization Budget Appropriations Committee (SOBAC) presentation Tuesday.
At the meeting, SOBAC distributed $280,000 to applying student organizations to serve as their budget for the 2017-18 academic year. Out of these funds, $163,000 was distributed to the applying 55 student organizations. The rest of the funding was given to SpiderBoard and the Homecoming committee, thus giving SOBAC members the challenge of having to cut the requests down to the amount that they could distribute.
There are eight members on SOBAC, four from RCSGA and four from WCGA. The treasurers of each student government, Abbas Abid, RC ‘18, and Page Soper, WC ‘19, serve as the committee's co-chairs.
In the weeks leading up to the official announcement, the committee held hearings for student organizations that were applying for SOBAC funding and processed extensive paper applications. These hearings and applications determined organizations' financial need on a variety of factors including the financial history of the organization and other sources of funding for the organization besides SOBAC.
“We use set parameters to determine budget allocations for the organizations,” Soper said. “We read and reread applications and listen to hearings.”
“We try to address each organization in a fair and equitable manner,” Abid said.
All organizations hope to receive the amount that they apply for. However, after demonstrated need is looked at, some organizations do not receive as much as they hoped for.
One such example this year was UR Debate, which requested $16,279.65 and received nothing.
According to SOBAC, this was a result of a lack of demonstrated need in their application. UR Debate receives funding from outside sources such as departmental funding.
“It’s going to be a little tight next year,” Chris Rein, RC ‘19, treasurer of UR Debate, said. “However, I am hopeful and I expect that we will have relatively few headaches over this.”
Other clubs received large amounts of funding. SpiderBoard, one of the largest clubs on campus, which is also responsible for Homecoming weekend, received more than 40 percent of the SOBAC-funding allocations.
Because of its long history of receiving such large chunks of funding, SOBAC has started to set aside funds specifically for SpiderBoard and Homecoming. Starting this year, SpiderBoard will receive a set amount of $61,000 and Homecoming will receive an additional set amount of $56,000.
“By taking SpiderBoard and Homecoming out of the application process, we can view other student organizations’ applications in their own light without worrying if there will still be enough funds left for SpiderBoard,” Soper said.
SOBAC funding allocations are final, but there are other options for organizations that either didn’t apply or didn’t receive the allocation they wanted.
“We like to try to remind organizations that there are a lot of funding opportunities on campus and that we can help them reach out,” Abid said. “There are a lot of avenues other than SOBAC that they can pursue.”
These SOBAC funds will support student organizations for the 2017-2018 academic year. SOBAC is an annual event and student organizations can re-apply next spring.
Contact reporter Julia Raimondi at firstname.lastname@example.org.