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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA club funding exhausted

    Clubs seeking funding for events in the next couple of weeks may have to look outside of student government because the board that allocates funds is out of money.

    Club funding within the Associated Students of the University of Arizona has exhausted its $85,000 budget, marking the second year in a row that club funding has run through its budget, said acting student body president Erin Hertzog.

    The appropriations board had to curb the amount allocated to clubs at the beginning of the spring semester, and now that funds have dwindled, clubs seeking compensation are being put on a waiting list.

    “”Unfortunately, we are in a situation where we cannot fund events that are happening within the next 10 days or so,”” said Michelle Gregory, an ASUA club advocate. “”If an event is coming up soon, clubs are kind of getting the short end of the stick.””

    The majority of funding is given out at the beginning of the year in the form of initial funding as clubs are starting up, Gregory said.

    “”We gave away $20,000 in one meeting for initial funding for clubs,”” she said.

    Gregory said whereas a club coming in November may be funded the full amount it requests, if it asked in March, that amount would be cut back.

    “”It’s very hard for us to be fair to clubs in terms of equity and funding because, from my experience, clubs that come at the beginning of the year usually get more than clubs who come near the end,”” Gregory said.

    Hertzog said that because of reallocation of funds within ASUA, about $6,000 on top of the initial budget was shifted from some programs into club funding, much less than what was shifted last year.

    “”We hoped we could reallocate money from program directors who didn’t spend their budgets, but most of them had spent them,”” she said.

    Hertzog said after reallocation, outside grants and a $2,000 donation from her own operations budget, club funding has spent about $100,000 this year, $40,000 less than what was given to clubs last year.

    That difference comes from a surplus within the special events budget after the Michael Moore event last year, which accounted for an extra $30,000 that was moved into club funding, Gregory said

    She said the Death Cab for Cutie and Franz Ferdinand concert Monday will drain the events budget and will not generate any extra money for ASUA.

    “”It’s a problem of venues,”” Gregory said. “”We have two places indoors to hold concerts: Centennial Hall and McKale Center. One holds 2,400 people, the other 14,500 people. We don’t have a medium venue where we can charge a low ticket price and turn a profit.””

    Hertzog said the drop in the budget was especially harmful this year because last year’s executive vice president, Sara Birnbaum, actively campaigned for clubs to come pick up the extra money, which was a good thing at the time because the budget was larger.

    “”(Birnbaum) was very much of the mentality that (since) we have the money, why not give it all to the clubs,”” Gregory said.

    Hertzog said the money went quickly this year because clubs were picking up more money after Birnbaum’s campaign and because the board has been funding the clubs of two additional schools, the James E. Rogers College of Law and the College of Medicine, whose students voted last year to be represented solely by ASUA.

    “”We probably spent about $10,000 on their clubs alone because they do a lot of traveling for research opportunities,”” Hertzog said.

    The appropriations board will know after the Death Cab for Cutie concert if it can pull any more funds from within ASUA, Gregory said.

    Hertzog said her goal is to get $30,000 to cover the rest of the year.

    “”I think the whole process needs to be revamped to make it better,”” she said. “”Programs like club funding and SafeRide need to be completely covered because they serve the most students.””

    “”Next year I want to find ways to restructure the budget,”” said Hertzog, who has been elected next year’s student body president. “”Outside funding is a priority in my mind and in the minds of the other officers elected for next year.””

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