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1999 Finboard Allocations

By Kevin R. Lang

and Anna K. Benefiel

The Undergraduate Association Finance Board met recently to allocate $27,515 in spring appeals funding to 49 student groups. Finboard formally announced results of the appeals process at the Mar. 8 UA meeting.

In response to the fact that not all groups received the full amount of their appeal, Finboard chair Ira F. Gerhardt ’99 said, “We can only do so much...we have a limited supply to allocate.”

Finboard reserved $23,000 of the $191,460 given to the UA this year for allocation during the spring appeals process.

However, the total amount allocated during appeals exceeded the available funds by $4,515. Finboard secretary Shuja U. Keen ’99 said that the choice between risking an over-allocation and reducing each group’s allocation caused some debate, but ultimately Finboard felt the risk was minimal compared to the necessity of funding student groups fairly.

Gerhardt noted that unspent funds from the fall support overallocation in the spring. “We have the funds left from fall term to stand behind any possible overallocation.” Unused funds from any given term are currently returned to Finboard for reallocation the next term.

Finboard member Berta L. Liao ’00 said that “I think overall the Board did a great job this year with trying to meet all of the requests and I think it’s great that there are so many options available at MIT for people to pursue their interests. We get so many requests and we only have limited funds, that’s the frustrating part of being on Finboard.”

Finboard hopes to simplify appeals

Currently, student groups seeking funding must submit a one-page budget request, and standardized budget form, but the vast majority of groups also use an “oral defense” for their funding, Keen said. Finboard recommends this means of appeals because students can address Finboard concerns about specific budget items and get an immediate response, Keen said.

However, Keen also thought that “it’s time to go online with this stuff,” referring to submitting funding requests. Keen said that the initial budget request forms might detract from some groups’ presentations to Finboard itself.

Money came from provost’s grant

The Provost’s office allocated approximately $300,000 to student activities for the 1998-1999 school year, of which the UA received nearly two-thirds for funding student groups and the UA itself. However, the forty-nine groups applying for appeals requested $129,000, when Finboard only had $27,000 after the spring budget compilations to allocate.

“Nothing controversial,” happened during the appeals process, Gerhardt said. The “appeals process is pretty straightforward about how we do things.”

The point this year with increased funding was to stretch Finboard’s goal to “fund even more those things that we traditionally fund,” Gerhardt said.