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Student groups vie for funding

Not all groups will receive financial support, but they will each have an opportunity to petition for more funding.

Let the 2008 money war begin.

The Student Services Fees Committee released its initial recommendations Thursday regarding funding for each of the 33 campus student groups which applied for financial support.

But, as always, the SSFC can’t please everyone. Some groups received significant cuts, and others didn’t receive any funding at all.

on the web

To see the initial recommendations made by the Student Services Fees Committe for next year’s funding, go to funding/fees/.

The African Student Association, Undergraduate Women in Business and the Chess Club are among the clubs who weren’t provided any funding for the next scholastic year.

The Chess Club and Undergraduate Women in Business received no funding because the groups did not demonstrate how they are a benefit to the student body as a whole, according to the SSFC’s funding rationales.

The groups who are not satisfied with the initial recommendations have the opportunity to attend public hearings to state their cases on why they are a beneficial organization, Bree Richards, SSFC sub-committee chairwoman, said.

“They have the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, this is why this group is really important, this is why it benefits all of the University, this is why it should be funded,’ ” she said.

The public hearings will be held March 3, 4 and 6, and any group is allowed to attend and speak their minds.

During the decision process, the SSFC is separated into two subcommittees in order to make decisions quicker, Richards said. One of these is a student group subcommittee.

“It’s nice for us to be able to bring the perspective of students and say yes or no,” she said. “It’s important to keep groups financially responsible.”

In addition to the student group subcommittee, there is an administrative unit committee which discusses funding for the Learning Abroad Center, Radio K and The Minnesota Daily.

Scott Johnson is the administrative committee chairman and said the committee strives to be fair to everyone as best they can.

“The process is designed to be fair in order that all groups, regardless of point of view, are given an equal opportunity to receive funds,” he said.

Democracy Matters president Sarah Emmel said that the entire process of applying for student fees was stressful, especially since it was the club’s first time.

“It is a stressful process and undergoing it for the first time brings up a lot of questions about what to do,” she said.

Democracy Matters requested a budget of $8,700 but was only approved for $3,500.

“I’m really happy that we received anything at all,” Emmel said.

Richards said the SSFC has reasons for cutting funds or eliminating them all together, usually because the group doesn’t adequately justify its need for the total monetary amount.

“We certainly have reasons, we didn’t cut anyone arbitrarily,” she said.

The final recommendations will be released in April before going to the Board of Regents for final approval.

Subcommittee chairwoman Laina Bretzke said the fees process is important and affects everyone.

“Service Fees Committee is made up of intelligent and reasoning individuals who have come together to make the most appropriate decision,” she said. “In this way, the students get a part in deciding what their hard-earned money is being spent on in order to better the campus community.”

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