Facing funding shortfalls, groups seek other options

Janette Neuwahl

Following Student Activities Finance Board’s funding recommendations Wednesday night, many student groups are strategizing how to get a few extra dollars, while others are accepting their requests reluctantly.

On Wednesday, SAFB doled out more than $180,000 to 22 student groups, a little less than half of the more than $362,000 requested. At next week’s Senate meeting, groups can contest the recommendations, seeking additional funding from the $10,000 “add-on” pool. Five percent of the supplemental funds available is set aside for this purpose.

But many of the grants approved by SAFB leave groups without the funds for some of their annual programs.

ASG

Associated Student Government sought funding for tailgates, office equipment and money to fund the Spring Quarter student group leadership retreat. But unless they get the money during the Senate’s “add” period next week, ASG’s Executive Board will have to deal without the funds.

“We never expected to be recommended the money for tailgates because it’s an informal policy that SAFB won’t honor requests for programming within the same quarter,” said Joel Richlin, public relations chairman. “We were pretty much told we’d have to ask for it from Senate, so that was always the plan.”

As of now, ASG’s new student groups office will not be able to get the extra computers and office furniture requested. However, Nicole Mash, ASG’s executive vice president said nothing is finalized until after next week’s meeting, when ASG will ask senators to reconsider financing the new office.

“Just because SAFB didn’t allocate funds (during fall funding) doesn’t mean we’re not going to get it,” said Mash, a Weinberg senior. “The final word is decided on by Senate.”

Women’s coalition

Women’s Coalition also was left scrounging for money for its Winter Quarter speaker. Each February, Women’s Co brings a keynote speaker to the Women in Leadership conference, but this year they’ll have to find an alternate method to inspire Northwestern women.

“It really doesn’t surprise me,” said Nell Haynes, a Communication senior and Women’s Co director, adding that she thinks SAFB looks unfavorably on the conference because of a low attendance last year. “But our history of providing a speaker should be taken into account because the conference is a great asset to the Northwestern community.”

If they are not granted funding at next week’s Senate meeting, Haynes said Women’s Co will have to find a less prominent speaker.

Theater Groups

Theater groups such as Wave Productions and Dolphin Show both received recommendations below their requested amount. Jen Richards, university relations chair for Wave, said coming up short-handed is nothing new. Each year they try to buy equipment for their performances to curb renting costs, but usually SAFB does not agree that the items are necessary.

“In the long run, it’s better to own things but we can pay the rental fees,” said Richards, a Communication junior. “We try to build up our stock so there’s less of a financial burden for our shows, but it’s not like we aren’t able to function (without these funds).”