The Collegian
Sunday, September 26, 2021

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SOBAC to continue normal operations despite student organization disaffiliation

<p>THC situated on Westhampton lake</p>

THC situated on Westhampton lake

Student organizations that disaffiliated or decided to pull annual funding requests in solidarity with the Black Student Coalition did not face penalties from the Student Organization Budget and Appropriations Committee, according to members of SOBAC.  

Vittoria Tripp, the student organization and budget coordinator at the Center for Student Involvement, serves as the adviser for SOBAC. 

“Organizations that notified us that they would not be presenting because of disaffiliation were assessed solely on their applications and were given appropriate allocations,” Tripp wrote in an April 13 email to The Collegian. “No one lost an opportunity for funding based on disaffiliations. Organizations that find themselves in need of additional funding next year can always apply through the contingency process with the SGAs.” 

SOBAC, co-chaired by Kevin Spear, a Richmond College Student Government Association representative, and Elle Lee, a Westhampton College Government Association representative, is responsible for reviewing funding requests from student organizations and disbursing them once they have been approved. 

The process of securing funding involves filling out and submitting an application to SOBAC followed by a presentation about the requested funds, according to the CSI website. RCSGA and the WCSGA then reach a joint consensus regarding how to allocate funds to student organizations for the upcoming academic year, Spear wrote in an email to The Collegian. 

Spear said the volume of applicants had decreased.

“There was a decline in funding applications compared to previous years, with the number going from 72 or 73 out of 89 eligible student organizations to about 32 student organizations out of 89 eligible student organizations,” Spear said.

Tripp said the low application volume had been due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, [the low number of applications] is not necessarily a bad thing, as this year most organizations did not use their funding so they had no need to apply,” Tripp said. “All organization balances roll forward to the next academic year, so no clubs lost any funding by not applying. They simply already had enough in their budget to execute their plans and did not need additional funding.” 

SOBAC tried to be flexible and accommodating with presentations this year, Spear and Lee said. 

Even though some student organizations skipped their presentations, it had no impact on funding requests, and SOBAC allowed the organizations to be evaluated on their funding application alone, Spear said. 

“Instead of coming through and running down all the expenses and talking to us about why those were justified, we just looked at their chart and made decisions as a body about what was in front of us and what they provide,” Spear said. 

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SOBAC has not gotten joint approval on funding from both student body governments, but a joint-body decision should be made before the end of the semester, Spear said. The vote was pushed back as a result of the disaffiliation of the WCGA, Lee said. 

Contact news writer Abdulghaffah Abiru at ghaffah.abiru@richmond.edu.

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