Staff Editorial: Prioritize small student groups

Last week, the Student Association finance committee announced allocations to groups for the next school year. And in a decision that broke recent trends, funding to the Panhellenic Association and the Interfraternity Council, the umbrella organizations for sororities and fraternities, decreased significantly.

The finance committee made the responsible decision for the student body.

It is justifiable to shave money off allocations to larger groups like Greek organizations, the International Affairs Society and the College Democrats and Republicans to help smaller, newer organizations get off the ground.

Increasing allocations for smaller student organizations will allow them to put capital toward more ambitious efforts, relieving some of the pressure to constantly fundraise.

The SA’s pool of allocation dollars is large, nearing $1 million, but it’s not infinite. The decision to move some funds that were originally allotted for Greek Life will give organizations that apply for smaller allocations some much-needed flexibility.

Next year’s funding slashes for Greek organizations won’t threaten their livelihoods in the same way that they would affect smaller organizations. The Panhellenic Association spends most of its funds from the SA on fall recruitment. And IFC President Casey Wood told The Hatchet April 11 that funds are largely used for Greek Week.

But these events likely won’t be compromised just because their budgets won’t be as large next year.

Due to the sheer size of IFC and Panhel, collectively forming 32 percent of the student body, they have the potential to fundraise to supplement their decrease in SA funding in ways that smaller groups do not.

And fraternities and sororities also have vast alumni networks and resources from their national chapters that they can tap into to compensate for next year’s loss in funds. Smaller groups, though, like the literary magazine Wooden Teeth, and the Feminist Student Union do not have these bases of support.

The Greek community has grown over the years, and some might say this growth warrants greater SA funding: The more members, the more money.

However, the increasing size of Greek organizations only makes them more capable of internal fundraising. And in the same way that smaller groups step up to sustain themselves when funding is not all they hoped it would be, IFC and Panhel must follow suit.

The Native American Association received $700 this year compared to $250 last year. Yes, Greek life is growing, but small organizations deserve start-up funds to grow their bases and flourish.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.