Funding program helpful to RSO’s

By on November 3, 2008

By Paige Quiggins

The Club Programming Committee had a successful first year at the University of Louisville.
The committee, formed last year through collaboration between the Student Government Association and Student Affairs, allocates money to Recognized Student Organizations to host events.
It saw an increase in funding from roughly $30,000 in the spring semester to $41,485 for the fall.
Michael Mardis, dean of students, said that RSOs had to apply to the SGA senate to hear their requests in the past.
He also said that SGA was not given all the requests at the same time, making it hard for them to select who was most eligible or in need of funding. 
Mardis said the CPC consists of 6 students who decide whom and where the funds are distributed.
Stephen King, the CPC’s representative from the Association of Black Students, said the committee usually questions things like cost, the event’s openness to the campus community and student accessibility. 
“[The RSOs] send their completed applications along with their itemized budgets,” King said.
“Each member is to review all applications and budgets and make an informed decision on whether to fully, partially or not fund the event.”
King, along with other CPC members, feels students should be included in such important decisions. 
Junior CPC member Allison Chesser said she feels student input should be vital in any major funding decision the university makes. 
“If students don’t contribute to these decisions, we do not understand how the process works,” Chesser said. “I believe that students want to be involved and included in decisions that affect them.”
Some ABS funded RSO events were cancelled due to lack of funds last year.  However, this year RSOs have had access to more funds with the increase. King stated that ABS’ budget has “had a strain placed on it because [it] did not have the funding we anticipated,” but no events have been cancelled thus far.
Sources of funding for CPC include SGA, the Dean of Student’s, Provost’s Office, Undergraduate Affairs and the Department of Housing and Residence Life. 
The numbers of RSO’s  rose from 204 in fall 2006 to 249 in fall 2008.
It is now possible for students to organize their own constituency and create a whole new RSO if they don’t feel there is one that can accommodate them. 
“I believe that the increase shows a great deal of support and understanding for the needs of student organizations,” Stephens said. “I think the hope is that funding will continue to increase as the number and quality of applications from student groups increases.”
The deadline for all RSO funding applicants for spring of 2009 is Nov. 12 and April 17 for fall of 2009.

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