Administrators are pushing student groups to partner up on more events this year, cutting down on the number of smaller, more exclusive events in favor of larger, University-wide functions.
Dean of Students Peter Konwerski said “collaborative programming” is especially important this year as there is a growing number of student organizations that continue to fight for a stable pot of funds. For the first time in four years, the Student Association budget will not increase next year, because all students now pay the increased SA fee.
“Nobody’s budget is growing,” Konwerski said. “Things are costing more.”
The Student Association has a record-breaking $950,000 to dole out this year.
Associate Dean of Students Tim Miller said sharing financial responsibility for an event will reduce the burden for individual organizations, enabling groups to hold bigger events, even with a tight budget.
“The reality is you have to get more done with less funds,” Miller said.
Miller, who holds bi-monthly meetings with student group advisors, said this year, advisors are discussing their groups’ plans with each other to identify opportunities for collaboration.
Defraying costs is not his only aim. Miller also hopes inter-organizational partnerships will “stop student organizations from doing the same project.” For example, Miller said if two groups want to go to a Nationals game, they can purchase cheaper tickets if more are purchased together.
Konwerski hopes stronger partnerships will lead to stronger programming – with fewer events. “Right now, there’s almost too much to choose from,” Konwerski said.
Miguel Alvarez, president of the Organization for Latino American Students, said collaborative programming helps student groups with similar missions attain their goals.
OLAS hosted award-winning actor Tony Plana Sept. 19 as part of Latino Heritage month. Sponsors for the event included the Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity and the Multicultural Student Services Center.
Alvarez said there are many groups for Latino students, and hosting events seems like the logical thing to do, especially for smaller, newer organizations.
“Collaborating on campus events is a good opportunity for student organizations to find their central point,” he said.