Student groups weigh pros, woes of A-status

Helena Oh

In light of the Panhellenic Association’s decision to abandon its A-status standing with Associated Student Government — effectively giving up its right to receive ASG funding — other student group leaders said an A-status becomes unnecessary and often burdensome if groups can afford to fund their own events.

The Northwestern Class Alliance, a B-status group, never applied for A-status because it would just lead to “fighting for scraps” with other student groups, said NCA President Jim Schuchart, a Weinberg senior.

The Northwestern Alumni Association funds NCA and the Center for Student Involvement advises the group, so NCA “is treated like an A-status group,” Schuchart said.

Undergraduate Premedical Society leaders do not want to apply for A-status “partly because of (the Student Activities Finance Board’s) political drama,” said Weinberg senior Rose Wu, co-president of the society.

“I like being B-status,” Wu said. “There’s no pressure to perform to anyone’s standards on following fund-raising rules that SAFB has.”

SAFB recommends monetary allocations for A-status groups that the ASG Senate’s approves — or denies — and then monitors these groups’ programming and finances.

Special Olympics, another B-status group, applied for A-status two years ago, but the general consensus was that the label was a “big waste of time,” said Special Olympics Co-chairman Mike Wong, a Weinberg senior.

“We just have more independence when we (fund raise) ourselves, and we don’t have to lobby (ASG) for money,” Wong said.

A-status student groups, on the other hand, must follow stringent rules and procedures because higher standards determine which groups deserve money during tight funding cycles, said Zaid Pardesi, SAFB chairman.

“Even if money (in the funding pool) was at par before, funding is tighter because requests are larger,” said Pardesi, a McCormick senior. “It’s not a wise use of money if students don’t attend events (we fund).”

Before Panhel de-recognized itself, Panhel President Kelly Shimizu said the group can fund most of its events through members’ dues.

“We’re not completely reliant on SAFB funding,” said Shimizu, an Education senior. “Other student groups asked for money for programming as well, and that’s something we have to understand.”

Last spring, SAFB declined to give the A-status group One Step Before the almost $40,000 requested for a Winter Quarter speaker due to low attendance at previous events. One Step Before received about $13,000 after applying for less money from the supplemental funding pool this quarter, but it still cannot afford the speaker it wanted.

“You’re in a hard position when you don’t have enough funding to get people to attend an event, and if you don’t have enough people, you won’t get funding the next year,” said One Step Before President Brittany Osborne, a Weinberg senior, who will not appeal the decision.

A-status groups that have applied for supplemental funding to the spring funding cycle can appeal SAFB recommendations at this Wednesday’s ASG meeting. The meeting will start an hour earlier at 6 p.m. in the Northwestern rooms at Norris University Center.

Reach Helena Oh at [email protected].

Quick facts:

 Student Activities Finance Board reviews A-status student groups’ funding applications before

submitting its recommendations to Associated Student Government. B-status groups do not receive funding.

 A-status groups can receive more funds by

appealing their SAFB recommendations from the spring funding cycle at Wednesday’s ASG Senate meeting.