Student organizations that apply for funds from Associated Students Inc. (ASI) this year for the second time will receive $500 less in funds to allocate resources for new student groups.
As part of the 2014-2015 ASI Budget, Vice President of Finance Ramon Gonzalez announced Sept. 6 that groups petitioning for ASI support for the second time could receive $1,000 this year rather than the $1,500 in years past.
All other group categories maintained their amount of funding from last year’s budget. Groups who have been recognized and financed by ASI for more than 10 years will continue to receive $4,500, groups who have been established for less than 10 years $1,500 and newly formed groups $500.
The ASI Finance Committee and Gonzalez came to the decision this summer after they reviewed how student groups utilized their funds. Gonzalez said this adjustment is meant to promote the growth of more student organizations by allocating resources that went unused by groups before.
“We ended up looking at past years and we noticed that second years would never use up the full $1,500,” Gonzalez said. “That would allow more student organizations to be able to apply for funding. The goal is always to have more student organizations to have more funding.”
According to ASI ethnic studies representative and Finance Committee member Luis De Paz, SF State students play a crucial role in the funding and maintenance of ASI organizations and other resources available on campus.
“Every university student pays $54 out of their tuition and it goes towards Associated Students, and from there it’s distributed to fund the many free programs available for all SFSU students like Project Connect, the Legal Resource Center, the Women’s Center, etcetera,” said De Paz.
De Paz added that the increase in funding requests played a deciding factor in the reduction of money from organizations that applied for funding for the second year.
Funding goes towards covering expenses from publicity, food, supplies and other resources groups may need to operate special events, according to the ASI Student Handbook.
Vincent Page, external public relations officer of the Asian Student Union at SF State, sympathized with the difficulty student groups may have to make their organizations successful.
“Their idea behind it is fair, but it limits second years,” Page said of second year organizations. “I feel like second and third years need the help because getting historical status is really hard.”
Groups earn historical status after being a recognized organization and receiving support from ASI for 10 years or more. Their tenure prompts them to host events of “important cultural significance” and makes them eligible to receive up to $4,500 in funding a year, the largest amount possible.
Gabriella Matthews, social chair for the one-year-old Devoted Women for Change organization on campus, said her group has managed to fundraise their own events without money from ASI. Although they have enjoyed success, Matthews said the cut may put pressure on organizations to come up with the funds they need on their own.
“It’s difficult to fundraise and sometimes you have to go out of your own pocket to do it,” Matthews said. “You can’t always rely on other people’s funding, so sometimes you gotta have your own back. We can do a lot with the money we’re given, if (it’s) just used properly.”