Final group funding proposals released

In total, the Student Services Fees Committee will award $25,350,133 next year.

Amber Kispert

The money war is coming to an anticlimactic close.

Final Student Services Fees Committee recommendations for student groups and administrative units were released Wednesday, barely different from the initial recommendations.

on the web

To view the Student Services Fees Committee’s final recommendations for group funding, go to www.sua.umn.edu/groups/ funding/fees/.

In total, the SSFC will award $25,350,133 next year, which includes funds for both student groups and administrative units. Tentatively, this equates to a $372 student services fee for next semester.

The SSFC recommended only three applicants for more funding this time around: Radio K, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow.

Between six and seven student groups attended the public hearings on March 3 and 6 to restate why they should receive their full request.

Meanwhile, incomplete applications and failure to attend funding presentations spelled trouble for the African Student Association and the American Indian Student Cultural Center. The SSFC denied funding to the groups.

It wasn’t that the fees committee felt the student groups weren’t important, said student organizations committee chairwoman Bree Richards. Instead, the groups didn’t receive funding because they didn’t follow the correct procedure.

“It wouldn’t be fair to the other groups,” she said.

The number of groups that attend the hearings varies from year to year, SSFC advisor Erich Martin said.

“The more controversial things are, the higher the attendance,” he said, “but when things are going smooth, then there really isn’t a lot of unrest.”

There’s no traditional outcome of the hearings; it depends on the year, Martin said.

A public outcry over the initial recommendations would have more impact on the final ruling than if no one showed up, he said.

GAPSA and CFACT were re-evaluated because they provided the committee with clarifying information, Richards said.

When the SSFC is discussing what to award to each applicant, the most important thing to consider is whether the organization serves the entire campus, Richards said.

“They need to show how they are a benefit to the entire University,” she said. “If they don’t, then they don’t get any funding at all.”

The fees process requires groups to be fiscally responsible and, in turn, benefits the campus as a whole, Richards said.

“Students can be more confident in knowing that their individual fees are going towards something that is going to produce some results and enrich their experience at the University,” she said.

This year, 22 of 48 applicants were recommended for their total requested funding.

Some groups that didn’t receive their entire funding take offense to it, Richards said.

“It can be very emotional for organizations and they feel that there is value to their group,” she said. “We’re not commenting on the value of their group; it doesn’t mean that their group is somehow less.”

The SSFC judges each group individually. Most groups typically receive some funding, Martin said.

“Usually the majority of the groups that apply, receive some sort of funding,” he said. “Everybody is looked at individually and judged on what they bring to the table.”

The best way for a group to argue their case is to follow the instructions and be able to answer our questions, Richards said.

This year the Minnesota Student Association wanted to argue its case better since last year it received nearly $40,000 less than requested, MSA President Emma Olson said.

“We really just did what we could to make it as clean cut as possible,” she said. “You have to make your case wisely, and I think this year we did.”

Apparently the new approach paid dividends, as the fees committee awarded MSA roughly $12,000 more than last year’s recommendations.

Groups are eligible to appeal their recommendations before Friday to Vice Provost of Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart. After that, recommendations go before the Board of Regents in May and are voted on in June.