Student organizations seek more A.S. funding

Daily Sundial

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Some student leaders from CSUN’s chartered clubs and organizations have expressed the need for additional funding from Associated Students for their groups.

“We don’t get enough funding, but we get enough to get by,” said Carlos Moran, chair of CSUN Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan. “Compared to other (groups), we get a larger budget.”

Moran said the amount that M.E.Ch.A. received from A.S. decreased compared with what it received in the last three years. He said the organization is constantly working as well as networking to cover its events. M.E.Ch.A. receives support from various departments that are willing to sponsor its events and help with M.E.Ch.A.’s fundraising efforts, he said.

“(Other organizations and clubs) sponsor us with our events, and (M.E.Ch.A) co-sponsors them,” Moran said. “We give part of our budget to others by co-sponsoring,”

A.S. recently changed the method it allocates money to clubs and organizations. In the past, A.S. gave a certain amount of money to groups in specific categories of allocations, and it was then the responsibility of the organization to decide what programs to spend the money on.

Moran said his organization found out that A.S. now divides money as it sees fit.

“They took the budget and decided it for us,” he said.

This year, A.S. approved the funding of specific events, not general funding categories. For instance, in 2003-04 the African American Music Association received a total allocation of $750, with $200 in “contracted services,” $100 in “supplies,” and $50 in “administrative printing,” among others.

David Crandall, A.S. general manager, said the A.S. Finance Committee follows the A.S. Policy and Finance Code, which aims at explaining why certain allocations are made to student clubs and organizations.

A.S. allocated about $300,000 in funding to hundreds of student clubs and organizations on campus for 2005-06. M.E.Ch.A, for example, received $6,700 in allocations during the annual budget process, one of the highest amounts, primarily for three large-scale, group-sponsored events throughout the year, and $500 for high school outreach.

Other organizations that received more money than many other groups include the Armenian Student Association ($5,200), the Hillel Jewish Student Center ($5,000), the JADE program ($4,700), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers ($4,200), among others.

Crandall said that every Wednesday at the A.S. Finance Committee meeting, groups that might need additional funding could request financial help in addition to their annual A.S. allocations. This funding is available by filling out paperwork that requests a new allocation, which the senate then votes on at one of its Tuesday meetings. Student leaders can attend the senate meeting and lobby on behalf of their action item.

Ricardo Valdez, member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, said the amount allotted for his organization is not enough, adding that the group receives a large amount of its funding from outside sources. He said A.S. has not been their major contributor and that the group relies on other means to acquire funds.

“A.S. has been good to us,” Valdez said. “We are happy, (but) we could (always use) more.”

Valdez said the group is given money when the annual budget proposal is turned in, adding that SHPE expects to receive little of what they request. He said like other organizations SHPE relies on sponsorships and fundraising to make ends meet.

Justin Tanthanasiridej, vice president of Filipino American Student Association, said A.S. helped his organization, but did not provide it with enough money to fund the annual events that FASA hosts. He said FASA relies on sponsors and fundraising because the amount of money the group proposes to A.S. is not always given.

“(We) never get the amount we proposed,” Tanthanasiridej said. “It’s either half, or most of the time, less than half.”

Tanthanasiridej said even though FASA events also include volunteers, the props or even costumes needed for the performance does cost money to get. He said many of FASA’s events include skilled artists who charge for their work.

Tanthanasiridej said that with FASA’s biggest event scheduled for the spring, organizers would have to depend on other means to help with the expenses.

“(I) just wish A.S. would help out not just FASA, but help out clubs and organizations,” Tanthanasiridej said. “FASA – (is) the longest active club and A.S. has been disappointing. A.S. had helped out FASA, but I think they have to take a step further.”

Joanne Angeles can be reached at city@csun.edu.