On the evening of Thursday, September 29, the Student Activities Commission assembled its board members and the leaders of several student organizations to a forum in which to deliberate SAC’s financial allocation process. This followed up a forum held about the same issue last Wednesday. Although only a handful of student leaders attended the evening’s event, SAC board members presented the framework, without details, of modifications to the current funding system.
After presenting the current funding system, SAC outlined two proposed alternatives. Currently, SAC’s programming is an arc-based, bulk allocation system, where student leaders state their agendas and SAC allocates a set amount of funds for each type of event. Many members of the community have repeatedly raised the need for a better funding system, as SAC Chair Andy Koenig (COL ’12) acknowledged, saying that the “current arc-based programming has underachieved in a lot of ways.”
The first of the two proposed alternatives was a comprehensive budget system, whereby each student organization would submit a detailed budget for their upcoming events, along with statements of funding requests, to SAC. SAC would then review the submitted budgets based on several criteria, including the amount of available funds, reasonableness of requests, and data of previous utilization of SAC funds. Student organizations would be funded based on their proposed budget after SAC reviewed their requests.
Second is the criteria-based system with bulk allocation, whereby SAC would determine allocation of funds at the beginning of each semester, and student organizations would then be free to spend their allocation as they please. SAC would divide total funds that are available, 45% for the Fall and 55% for the Spring, based on various metrics that have not been entirely hammered out just yet, but possibly include group sizes, amount and scope of programming, travel plans, previous spending, fund management, and large-scale events. These group metrics would be assigned a dollar value, and student organizations would receive funds based on which of the metrics they fulfilled.