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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASUA closes club funding one month into spring semester

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona is housed in the Student Union Memorial Center.
Sam Ellis
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona is housed in the Student Union Memorial Center.

University of Arizona clubs were notified via an ASUA Clubs Instagram post on Feb. 5 that funding would be closed for the 2023-2024 academic term and would reopen in fall 2024, leaving many clubs financially stranded and looking for alternative funding. This decision came after the one and only Associated Students of the University of Arizona Appropriations Board meeting. 

“I’m aware of the concerns that have been occurring on campus due to the early closure of funding and it’s very true to say that it is different this year than it was from last year in the instance that it has closed earlier, but that’s because this year clubs were granted less funding per usual,” said Eddie Barron, executive vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

Every school year, ASUA decides how much money will be allocated to clubs through the appropriations board. This year, $200,000 were allocated, compared to $250,000 in past years. Once the funds have been dispersed, the appropriations board closes funding for the rest of the school year.

“It was just surprising for us to be so early in the semester,” said Jaiden Singh, secretary general of Arizona Model United Nations.

In past years, it was common to see ASUA dispersing funds well into late March and early April.

For over 60 years, AZMUN has hosted a model United Nations conference for high schoolers from Mexico and the Southwest United States

“Now we’re left in this situation where we have to find some external source for $5,000, presumably because the conference is basically a month away and we were anticipating that funding to support us,” Singh said.

AZMUN is currently looking for local sponsors to help fund its conference so the group won’t have to increase costs for high school students or members.

Once a month, the club Flying Samaritans at UA hosts a clinic in Agua Prieta, Sonora, in Mexico, providing free medical and dental care to the community while giving UA students experience in the field. 

“Now with ASUA funding no longer a source of financial support, we have enough funds to sustain our remaining clinics for this academic year but those for 2024-25 academic are in jeopardy,” the Flying Samaritans at UA said in a released statement.

MycoCats is a relatively smaller club on campus that promotes mycology education, cultivation and general community. Relying on funding from ASUA in past years for cultivation supplies, the club now has to find other avenues for funding.

“I actually just made a $60 purchase for MycoCats from the MycoCats fund, which actually put us below what we need to re-register the club for next year,” said Cait Dowd, president of MycoCats.

With its last resort being to increase member dues, the club is trying to find creative ways to fund, such as putting on a cooking class.

According to a rule on the club funding page on the ASUA website, “ASUA reserves the right to update or change rules and policies and/or the ASUA Club handbook without notice.” 

Arizona Ambassadors normally puts on philanthropy events every semester and has obtained funding from ASUA to put on such events in the past. However, this year the appropriations board has decided not to fund philanthropy events, according to a statement from Arizona Ambassadors. 

“Now more of our energy has to be directed to fundraising money just to hold the event and having to offset operating costs likely will affect the amount we can donate to charity negatively,” Arizona Ambassadors said in a released statement.

Barron clarified that the cut to funding was not due to the $240 million lost by the university, which was announced Nov. 2; however ASUA did grant substantially more funds to clubs in the fall semester compared to the spring.

According to ASUA’s public meeting minutes, $144,233 were granted in the fall, and only $35,624 in the spring, totaling $179,857.


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