Student groups receive overall funding increase in first round

Michael Gsovski

The Student Activities and Finance Committee released its funding recommendations for the upcoming school year at Associated Student Government Senate on Wednesday evening. The overall recommendations totaled $896,482, an increase of almost $4,000 from ’09-’10’s recommendation.

ASG Financial Director Malavika Srinivasan attributed the low funding increase to the Northwestern administration’s decision not to raise the student activities fee.

“We were supposed to have an increase this year, but the powers that be decided not to grant it,” the SESP junior said.

She said the slight increase in funding came from unspent money from last year.

“The revenue differences between this year and last year were from rollbacks that allowed us to be a little more generous,” Srinivasan said.

The two groups that received the most funding this year, A&O Productions and Mayfest, received a cut and an increase to their funding recommendations from last year, respectively, although Srinivasan said these changes will not affect programming for either group.

A&O’s cut came from the group’s own decision to “consolidate” its film series and therefore request less funding, she said. She also noted that the fees paid to performers at A&O’s events would increase by $10,000.

The decision to make a reduced request came from lower attendance at this year’s movie screenings, said A&O Chairman Adam Pumm. The group has included lowering the number of screenings and increasing the number of films co-sponsored with other groups, the Weinberg junior said.

“We will be cutting (but) we haven’t decided how,” Pumm said.

However, the decrease attributed to films accounts for $12,002 of the $28,229 reduction in the SAFC’s recommendation from last year. Pumm said he did not know where the rest of the decrease came from and would be consulting with his financial director going forward.

SAFC’s recommendation for Mayfest was increased because the committee revamped part of the funding process so as to fund more of the honorarium. Additional funding for security will be allocated during the “supplemental” round of funding later this year, Srinivasan said.

Alternative Student Break became eligible for first-round funding for its trips after members pledged to “find a trip for every person that applied,” therefore fulfilling the SAFC’s requirement that funded events be accessible to all students, Srinivasan said. Previously, the group had to appeal during the second round of funding in the Senate.

The extra money would be appreciated since students will have to fly to next year’s trips to Texas, Florida and Utah because of changes in NU’s motor pool rules, said ASB Co-director Corinne Ellis.

“Funding from SAFC allows for the trips to stay affordable and for us to sponsor trips to different locations,” the Weinberg sophomore said.

Because of its recently reacquired A-status, Habitat for Humanity received only $1,072 of its $11,419.41 request, Srinivasan said.

Habitat Treasurer Jonathon Roullard said he did not agree with some of the committee’s decisions, particularly its decision not to fund weekend transportation to build sites because the activity was not of “direct benefit to the NU community.”

“People from all Northwestern go to the build sites,” the Weinberg freshman said.

ASG senators will meet Wednesday for the second round of funding, where they will be given the opportunity to add to or subtract from the SAFC’s recommendations for each group.

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