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Activity Funding Doubles Following Appeals

By Kevin R. Lang
Staff Reporter

Funding allocations to student activities nearly doubled this year in light of increased funding from the Institute.

"Traditionally the Finance Board has had approximately $97,000 to allocate for a given school year. This year the funding was nearly doubled, allowing us over $191,000 for the year," said UA Finance Board Chairman Ira F. Gerhardt '99.

Last semester, then-Provost Joel Moses PhD '67 announced a $200,000 increase in funding for student activities.

The funding allocations were announced at the September 28 meeting of the Undergraduate Association council.

While allocations for the fall semester were handed out in the spring, student groups had a chance to appeal those decisions this fall. In appeal, a total of 57 student groups requested funds totaling more than $140,000. In the end, a total of $50,000 was approved for student activities that appealed their decisions.

Gerhardt said that Finboard can usually approve between 15 and 20 percent of the appeals made in any given term, while the average for this year increased to over 35 percent.

UAgets bulk of funding

The UA received far more funding than any other student group. It received 100 percent of a $6,850 appeal, increasing their funds for 1998-1999 to $23,470. The UA usually receives $17,000 in a given year. Gerhardt said that the UAreceives 100 percent of its request every year, primarily because of the organization's size and substantial involvement in student activities.

The increased funds will be used for "more campus-wide activities, a bus shuttle to Logan Airport, and better publicity of all UA events," said UA President Paul T. Oppold '99.

Finboard decisions varied from group to group with some groups receiving the entire amount requested and others getting nothing.

Many groups with substantial initial allocations only received small portions of their appeals. La Union Chicano por Aztlan, a Mexican cultural group, received only 6.6 percent of a $7,520 appeal, but the group was granted $1,000 last spring.

The Mexican Student Association was granted its full appeal. However, the group's president, Alethia de Leon G, said that the group only requests funding once every three years for a large event.

Others, such as the Christian Students Association, received no allocation either last spring or during appeals.

Finboard bolsters student groups

According to Gerhardt, Finboard's goal is "funding groups and events that have or will have a strong presence on campus, as well as helping new groups get started." Finboard hoped the increased funding this year would help many organizations fully fund their activities, Gerhardt added

Each term, Finboard finances many student groups with funds received directly from the Institute. Groups can request funds at the budget compilations meeting in the previous term. If any given group feels that more funds are needed, appeals can be made at the start of the term. Groups that did not make initial requests can also apply for funds at this time.

Finboard places strict limitations on how the allocated funds are used. Funds cannot be used to buy food except for cultural and international events. Other stipulations in this year's appeals included limitations on transportation costs, fundraising, and IAP costs.