The Student Association’s mandatory student group allocation meetings have generated a positive response by clarifying the funding process, said SA officials and student organization leaders.
“(The meeting) did a pretty good job of explaining (the funding process),” said Purvi Gala, president of Pugwash, a science-based ethics group.
In the past month, three meetings were held to explain the basic process the SA uses to allocate money to student groups. Student group leaders only were required to attend one of the three meetings.
“(The meetings) give more control to student groups,” Gala said. “It also gives more organization and establishes a firmer foundation for both the SA and student groups.”
J.P. Blackford, SA Senate Finance Committee Chair, said three main topics were addressed at the meetings: how money is allocated, how the money should be spent and Marvin Center policies.
“These meetings are really geared toward what student groups essentially want,” Blackford said.
The meetings were conducted by Blackford and Bryan Stoller, SA vice president of financial affairs.
Blackford said that in the past the SA had not held allocation meetings, and many student groups had to contact the SA office to request information. These meeting only will serve to clarify the allocation process for student groups, he said.
“It makes it easier for student groups to have all of their questions answered,” Blackford said.
Student group leaders said the meetings were productive and beneficial.
“It cleared up any questions I had,” said Eddie Lara, president of Latinos for Progress.
Blackford said that in past years, student groups did not know who to direct their questions to in the SA. The meetings are a way for student groups to network with the appropriate people, he said.
“Bryan Stoller covers how the student groups spend their money and I cover how the money is allocated,” Blackford said. “These meetings allow student group leaders to know what our roles are and know who they should contact. This allows us to better help them.”
Also, the SA has paired up with Student Activities Center representatives to condense a previously three-hour meeting into one hour, in which students can ask questions about the funding process of officials from both offices.
“Student groups used to have to go through a three-hour meeting,” Blackford said. “Now, they are able to get all the necessary information in about an hour.”
The allocation meetings have had high turnouts, Blackford said. But he and Stoller will look into the possibility of planning another meeting for any groups who could not be represented at the first three meetings.
“We don’t want to leave any student group without SA funding,” Blackford said.