With the spring 2020 appropriations cycle completed, Student Government shared where improvements were made in the process and what has yet to be done.
Graduate and Lifelong Education Sen. Paul Cray, a third-year Ph.D. student in comparative biomedical sciences and Appropriations Committee chair, said the appropriations budget for this semester was $93,000. He said more than 70 student organizations requested the full amount of $2,000.
Sam Brohaugh, Finance Committee chair and third-year studying civil engineering, said the student organization registration process was streamlined by the Office of Student Involvement, which had a big impact on this appropriations cycle.
“A requirement for a student organization to get money on our campus is to be a registered student org,” Brohaugh said. “That whole process with registration of the student organization is facilitated through the Office of Student Involvement … Once that is done, orgs can go through the application, which we provide.”
Cray said approximately $262,000 in total was requested before checking eligibility. After confirming eligibility, he said this dropped to around $230,000.
“We saw actually on our side that the impact was significantly better,” Brohaugh said. “We had four organizations that were counted as unregistered, but then two turned out to be a little technical error … Last semester, there were above 20 unregistered, so the process was cleaned up, and it's much better, but ... there's still improvements to make.”
Brohaugh and Garrison Seitz, student body treasurer and second-year studying civil engineering major, said about 160 orgs applied in the last 4 days before the Jan. 24 deadline, which they would like to spread out in the future.
“I'd say both in volume and in when [applications] came in was pretty normal, maybe a little later up against the deadline than usual,” Seitz said. “Most of the time, we probably do see 60% of the organizations register for appropriations within the last three or so days."
Brohaugh said that student organizations reapplying for appropriations through Student Government need to turn in receipts and unused funds to be in good standing. This year, he said a W-9 was required in the application as well in order to speed up the process of distributing appropriations funds.
“For transitioning student leadership, the best advice we can offer is to set your successors up for success by re-registering your organization before this academic year ends,” Seitz said. “When next semester starts, they won’t have to be going through the panic of re-registration on top of appropriations and other stuff.”
Seitz said early registration for next academic year opens in April.
“This whole session, we have been looking at peer institutions and sister institutions on their processes,” Brohaugh said. “We still have improvements we can make, for sure. We did a substantial change this year, but I do think we still have room for improvement, so student feedback is key.”