S.A. stretches funds

The Student Association’s Tier II organization budget remains unchanged from last year; however, an additional 14 organizations are vying for a portion of the fund.

Of those additional clubs, some are former Tier I’s, S.A.’s lowest designation of organizations, hoping to receive a budget for the first time. Others are former Tier III’s trying to salvage a remnant of funding after falling to the bottom of the hierarchy.

When Tier III budgeting is completed in April, some organizations are stripped of their funding for missing crucial deadlines. Examples include failing to attend a budget council meeting or failing to submit a constitution or charter on time. Usually, Tier III’s that are stripped in this way apply for a Tier II budget during the fall semester as a last ditch effort to supply the club with money.

"I think the problem is it’s a lot easier to get from Tier I to Tier II than from Tier II to Tier III. So that creates a backlog," S.A. Senator Matthew Harmer said.

In the coming weeks the S.A. Senate will apportion $25,000 to 36 Tier II organization. If senators decide to divide the money evenly, then each organization would receive only about $700, compared to roughly $1,140 for the same figure from last year. That is roughly a 40 percent decrease in the amount of money that could go to each club.

In actuality, money is doled out based on organizational need and S.A. funding priority—meaning the appropriations are not equal. This means that some organizations will receive the brunt of the surge in clubs, while others will get off easier.

That sad calculus won’t change for this year. One way the glut of Tier IIs could be relieved is if some apply for Tier III status in October, but even then, the budget pressure would not ease up until the next fiscal year. Other solutions would be for some Tier IIs to lose all funding and fall to Tier I status, or the Senate could vote to increase total fund for Tier IIs.

Kimberly Behzadi, president of the film club, said she empathizes with the tough situation faced by senators.

"It’s hard, sometimes I feel we’re begging for money," Behzadi said. "I understand though, how difficult it must be to divide this money between all the clubs."

Last year the film club’s budget was $2,000. This year it is expected to drop to $1,100—exactly a 45 percent decrease. Less money means the film club can make fewer big movies and hold fewer events. Behzadi is already looking for alternative ways to finance the organization’s upcoming film festival.

"We are always going to make films, but we are going to be limited in which scripts we can choose and which costumes we can select and location rates we can afford," Behzadi said.

Meanwhile, S.A. officials are optimistic they can resolve the Tier II budget problem.

"We are going to find a way to make sure all organizations get what they need," said T.J. Scandaliato, S.A. vice president. How this will be accomplished is still unclear.