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Finboard Allocates Funds to Activities

By Stacey E. Blau
Editor in Chief

The Undergraduate Association Finance Board held its spring budget meetings this weekend to allocate funds totalling $37,000 to student activities.

All except for one of the approximately 80 groups who requested spring-term allocations received funding, said Finboard Chair Jennifer Yang '97.

This term, however, a number of groups who usually request funding - including the MIT College Democrats, the MIT College Republicans, the National Society of Black Engineers, Rune, and The Course Evaluation Guide - did not submit budgets to Finboard for next term, Yang said.

Voodoo received the largest allocation of any group ($2,400), followed by Sangam ($1,600), the Black Students Union ($1,500), the Chinese Students Club ($1,500), Gays, Lesbians, Transgenders, and their Friends at MIT ($1,500), and the South Asian American Students ($1,500).

"We usually give a lot of the big groups somewhere over $1,000," Yang said.

Finboard, which decides how to distribute a sum of about $40,000 given to the UA for each term to allocate to student activities, will likely allocate an additional $3,000 or so during funding appeals early next year, when groups who received no funds or are dissatisfied with their allocations ask for more money. The appeals will take place in early February.

This weekend's budgets decisions are subject to approval by the UA Council, which will vote on the budgets at its next meeting on Dec. 4. The council will also vote on the appeals in February.

Some do not submit requests

Several groups that usually request funding did not submit requests for next term.

The College Republicans did not request funds because "we don't expect any expenses in the upcoming semester," said College Republicans Treasurer Michael Stanley '99. The group focused on volunteer work during the election season and now that elections are over does not anticipate any upcoming expenses.

Stanley is also treasurer of the Debate Team, which received $1,400 for next term, a small increase over the $1,287 the team received for this term. The team is trying to expand into policy debate, which will require more funding. "The UA understood our need and increased our budget," he said.

The CEG did not request funds for next term from Finboard. In addition to the separate budget it receives from the UA, the CEG has always received "a traditional source of funding from the deans," said UAPresident Richard Y. Lee '97.

The CEG has also worked to minimize some of the costs of the inefficient paperwork that must done for the publication, thereby reducing costs, Lee said.

The only group that requested funding but did not receive any was the MIT Equestrian Team, a new activity, Yang said. "We didn't quite understand their budget," she said, and because of a scheduling problem, the team's members could not make it to the meeting to answer questions.

Finboard recommended that the group resubmit a proposal with more information at the appeals meetings.

"There's not really any other group like us at MIT," said Heather D. Drake '99, treasurer of the equestrian team. "We're definitely going to appeal."

"There's a lot of interest in the group," Drake said. Funding "would be nice since we are a new group."

To be eligible for Finboard funding, groups must submit budgets to Finboard, although they do not actually have to show up to the budget compilation meetings to receive money. Some groups do show up, however, to "explain an activity, explain the nature of their club," Yang said.

Several Finboard members were ill over the weekend and could not make it to the Saturday and Sunday budget meetings, Yang said. Two or three members were sick each day. "A lot of the board wasn't there," she said. "It was kind of unfortunate."