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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Student-run campaign aims to raise $5M for club funding

    Our big focus is alumni. Particularly if they’ve had a very involved student experience. This person will share their experiences with up-and-coming student leaders. – Steven Gerner, ASUA appropriations board

    In response to decreasing funds available for clubs through ASUA, one student official has launched a campaign to bring in $5 million in outside revenue.

    Steven Gerner, director of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona appropriations board, is the driving force behind the ASUA Student Campaign, an effort to create a $5 million endowment over the next few years to give student clubs a larger pool of resources to draw from.

    The campaign will counter decreasing funds available for clubs and larger groups, like the Bobcats Senior Honorary, that depend on receiving money from ASUA, said Gerner, a junior majoring in biochemistry and political science.

    “”There is a myth within ASUA that money will roll over each year,”” Sen. Rhonda Tubbs said. “”Unfortunately this year, with things like the concert that was just announced, we’re short on funds.””

    The depleting money could cause ASUA to start allocating less to clubs as the semester goes on, according to Tubbs.

    “”We’re starting to curtail our spending, and it’s hard to justify to clubs why they may have gotten more money had they asked three weeks ago,”” Tubbs said.

    Gerner wants the endowment to be able to act as a long-term solution to that problem. The money collected will go into current funds, as the campaign is meant to supplement the current process, not replace it, he said.

    Working closely with acting Student Body President Erin Hertzog, the Student Campaign is currently functioning as a committee underneath ASUA.

    Tubbs, who is seeking the executive vice president position in the upcoming ASUA elections, said she will continue to work with the Student Campaign and support it if she’s elected.

    The only downfall with the campaign is how long it will take to implement, Tubbs said.

    “”It’s going to take so many years to do because it has to in order to reach the magnitude (Gerner) wants to reach,”” she said. “”It’s going to allow this project to be passed onto future senates to work on, which most projects don’t.””

    With its current timeline, the campaign would start receiving its initial large donations at the beginning of 2007, with money being allocated to clubs by that fall.

    “”This is a long-term process,”” Gerner said. “”Currently we receive about $100,000 a year for club funding, and we’ll be relying on that for a while longer.””

    The committee is currently looking for clubs to participate in the fundraising.

    “”Basically we’ve got all the groundwork laid,”” Gerner said. “”The next step is recruitment and getting these clubs involved.””

    Clubs seeking money from the campaign can send a representative to serve on the committee and attend weekly hour-long meetings.

    “”This is a student initiative, so we want them involved,”” Gerner said. “”It’s their money and we want to give them a voice. Instead of only giving them the money, we can help them build their skill base.””

    Gerner said club participation is essential to the campaign’s success.

    “”If we want to, for example, set up online donations, we could get some help from the computer science club,”” he said.

    Other activities for club members include things like marketing and fundraising, Gerner said.

    The committee plans to take four different approaches to raising money for the endowment: students, businesses, alumni and parents.

    Gerner said that while he doesn’t expect students to be the primary source, he hopes clubs will do some “”grassroots”” fundraising on their own.

    “”This is for the students, and if they don’t show interest, businesses won’t show any,”” he said.

    Gerner hopes the campaign will receive its main support from alumni.

    “”Our big focus is alumni,”” Gerner said. “”Particularly if they’ve had a very involved student experience. This person will share their experiences with up-and-coming student leaders.””

    By having the contributing alumni interact with the students, Gerner hopes the students will be able to make connections outside the UA for the future.

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