Student Activities Budget announced

by Tianhang Dong | 5/30/16 6:10pm

The Undergraduate Finance Committee released its allocation decisions for the Student Activities Budget on Sunday. The $1.1 million budget covers 10 undergraduate groups for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. UFC funds come from the student activities fee charged to each student’s tuition every year, which is currently $86.

The Special Programs and Events Committee received $169,320; the Greek Leadership Council received $38,844; Programming Board, $321,210; Council on Student Organizations, $280,000; Collis Governing Board, $84,660; Council on Class Officers, $30,000; Dartmouth Outing Club, $51,792; Club Sports, $46,812; Student Assembly, $44,000; and the Homecoming Bonfire received $33,362.

The UFC advises the Office of Student Life on distributing the student activity fee. It is comprised of seven at-large members, nine organizational representatives from Dartmouth’s governing organizations and two non-voting advisors: the Office of Student Life’s Associate Dean Eric Ramsey and Student Life Coordinator Juliann Coombs. The committee members elect the UFC chair every spring, and this year Ashwath Srikanth ’18 won the election.

“UFC’s basic mandate is to fund events that otherwise would not occur, and also events that are open to all campus,” Srikanth said.

The UFC held weekly meetings on Monday this term to hear presentations of each organization about their proposals and then decided the final budget allocation for the next fiscal year. Dartmouth fiscal years begin in the summer terms and end at the conclusion of spring term.

Not all proposals were accepted, Srikanth said, including some that had been made repeatedly in recent years. Club sports’ request for a safe travel fund for its members was rejected, for instance. According to Srikanth, the problem is that although club sports are generally open to campus, “a lot of travel functions tend to be more selective.” That program is therefore not the best allocation of the UFC’s budget, he said.

The GLC received a large, 34 percent increase in its allocation this year. Last year, the GLC experienced an unexpected funding gap, Srikanth said, when the organization was supposed to receive external funding from a College source but did not actually receive the money. The increase is meant to make up for that shortfall.

The GLC works with its sub-councils and also Greek organizations on campus. It holds events that are open to all campus without alcohol. The funds allocated to the GLC cannot be used to subsidize events that are exclusively attended by affiliated students. For the past three years, the GLC has helped sponsor events for freshmen each fall during the period when they are banned from entering most Greek events.

The UFC distributed roughly the same amount of money to other organizations without a significant increase or decrease.

Srikanth said that Student Assembly has been on a fixed allocation for several years. As the Assembly usually changes its leadership in the spring, the president and vice president have one or two weeks to submit its proposal to the UFC. This short window does not give the leadership time to fully develop a solid plan for what they hope to accomplish.

“By giving the Student Assembly a fixed allocation every year, we hope to ensure that they can develop their plan during their presidency without the pressure of the UFC funding,” Srikanth said.