Members of the women’s soccer club, Rami Baldwin, 19 , environmental health studies and Spanish major from Elizabethtown, and Carolyn Carrillo, 20, a paralegal studies major from Louisville requested funding for soccer equipment.Photo by Caitlin Cook

Members of the women’s soccer club, Rami Baldwin, 19 , environmental health studies and Spanish major from Elizabethtown, and Carolyn Carrillo, 20, a paralegal studies major from Louisville requested funding for soccer equipment.
Photo by Caitlin Cook

BY: WESLEY ROBINSON
wesley_robinson28@mymail.eku.edu

The Student Government Association (SGA) heard 18 of 26 funding requests for Registered Student Organization (RSO) at this semester’s appropriations meeting. The senate had $27,036.44 to students and used all but $1.80.

Each semester RSOs can complete funding packets to request money from SGA to offset the costs of running a student organization. Prior to the appropriations meeting, RSOs are ranked by a committee within SGA to help ensure the organizations with the greatest need receive funding, said Nichole Arbino, SGA executive vice president.

More than $64,000 was requested by the 26 RSOs that requested funding and Arbino said SGA doesn’t have the capability to make sure every organization receives funding due to budget cuts and a lack of funding.

“If we had that kind of money available. we would give it in a heartbeat,” Arbino said.

She said the Senate did a good job considering the task at hand.

Arbino said RSOs are not guaranteed SGA funding and the Senate uses factors such as how often students request funding, what the funding is for and dues to determine what to give for an organization’s funding request.

“We discourage depending on us to fund your organizations,” Arbino said. “We want to help new organizations become self-sufficient.”

Arbino encouraged student organizations to be creative in fundraising and use their dues and departmental funds wisely. She said organizations will have funding rejected because SGA does not feel the funds are a wise use of money. T-shirts typically are the first thing struck from RSO budgets, but this year gas was consistently removed from the organizations proposals.

John Hardin, 21, a homeland security major from Springboro, Ohio requested $142.38 for the Homeland Security and Assets Protection Leaders of Tomorrow RSO. The organization requested the funding for gas to take a trip to Rupp Area for a tour to see how asset protection worked at a large venue.

Hardin said he was sure after observing the meeting that the organization would not get funding because they did not award money for gas for most organizations. He said SGA needs to do a better job of explaining what organizations they will fund and to do a better job of allocating funds for all student organizations.

“I thought we’d get a little bit [of funding],” Hardin said. “I think they should figure out a way for every organization to get money because when you’re down low [on the list], it’s hard to get funding.”

Arbino said Senators more relaxed at the beginning of the appropriations process and are less likely to cut lines off their budgets.

“It’s up to the Senate body,” Arbino said. “If I could go in there and say ‘hey guys, we need to cut more,’ I would, but being in the chair position I’m more like a moderator.”

Kelsey Yarberry, 22, an occupational therapy graduate student from Williamstown attended the meeting on behalf of Pi Theta Epsilon. The organization requested $6,706.00 for a trip to a convention in San Diego, Calif., but was declined without being heard by the Senate. Yarberry said it was frustrating the organization did not receive funding and thought the Senate needed to do a better job of allocating to give all students a chance to receive funding.

“If they would start [being more skeptical of RSO budgets] in the beginning taking it piece by piece and saying yes or no to everything, then there would have been something for everyone.”

Yarberry said the organization started last month and will have to scale back its goals because of the lack of funding.

“I’m kind of hesitant to use the system, especially since we were ranked so low [as a new organization,]” Yarberry said. “I guess it kind of gives us an idea of what to do next time, though. I’m trying not to be negative right now.”

Cory Abrams, 21, a wildlife management major from Oxford, Ohio, requested money for the Skeet and Trap Club. Abrams said he completed in the organizations packet online prior to the deadline, but the Senate did not have the packet when they did the rankings so they were placed at the bottom of the list.

“After they do the rankings they should tell students beforehand so they don’t spend five hours waiting to find out there is no money left,” Abrams said.

Abrams suggested several ways for SGA overhaul the process by splitting the meeting into two days to prevent students. He also suggested SGA use a uniform template to prevent students from estimating on their packets and to know what specific things the Senate would fund.

Sarah Carpenter, chair of the Student Right’s Committee said she worked to help relieve the confusion of the organization she sponsored and encouraged more interaction between RSOs and sponsoring Senators.

“The best way to be more satisfied with the appropriations process is to take full advantage of the system,” Carpenter said. “[As a Senator] I can help. I know what’s going on and what questions they are going to ask. When doing that you going to pretty much ensure they get what they need.