While Florida Southern College prides itself in the 80 plus clubs and organizations available to students on campus, the question of how to fund the multiple organizations falls on the shoulders of the Student Government Association.
SGA is responsible for allocating a limited budget while the competition for funding presents struggles for the organizations.
Prior to this semester, SGA granted funding on a first come, first served basis in which organizations that applied for money later in the semester were left with- out funding because earlier applicants had drained the funding pool. When certain organizations became aware of the process, SGA recognized the need to reevaluate their funding system to make the procedure more equal.
“It’s not so much that we have less money,” said sophomore Corey Koch, vice president of finance for SGA. “We’re actually giving out a lot more. Last year, we gave out approximately $5,300 in the fall and spring semester and this spring semester, we put together $6,000 which is more than double of half of last year’s.”
This semester, SGA required all student organizations seeking funding to apply by a certain date to be considered. In total, SGA received $50,000 in requests for funding from student led organizations. SGA then based their decisions off of campus impact of the funding and previous funding allocated to the organization for similar events in years past.
“We faced the challenge of dealing with all the applications at once as opposed to sprinkling it out throughout the semester,” Koch said. “One of the challenges that organizations faced was having to know everything they were going to do for the semester in advance.”
One of the organizations that applied for SGA funding and competed for a piece of the $6,000 budget was the newly created FSC Equestrian team.
“When we were looking at prospective schools, FSC was the only school that did not have an equestrian team, but also happened to be the school we liked the most. We figured there would be other people in our situation, so decided to start up a team to bring something to FSC that it didn’t have already,” said freshman Paige Tynan, Equestrian Team co-founder.
The group planned to use the potential SGA provided funding for lessons and show expenses. When Tynan and freshman co-founder Marjorie Rodolosi presented for the SGA President’s Circle, they were met with a new set of challenges.
“We did not receive funding from SGA, but we did receive advice to help us be- come more financially stable so we can present again in the future,” Tynan said.
Despite having presented to the Presi- dent’s Circle, the situation presented to the team was not ideal.
“Responses from SGA have been very scattered and random, and we have yet to receive a formal response to our presentation,” Rodolosi said.
While SGA has yet to inform organizations on exactly how much funding they will receive, Koch said that on average, about 28 percent of funding requests were met.
“There are some organizations that are accustom to receiving close to 100 percent, and then there are new organizations that expect the same treatment. When you only have $6,000 to allocate, it starts to get difficult,” Koch said.
In the future, SGA is looking at implementing a new tier system into the funding process where organizations would select a “tier” that their event fell under which would then allow SGA to work from top- tier requests downward. While the system has yet to be finalized, it has met a number of criticisms.
“The tier system is something a lot of people aren’t particularly fond of. There’s concern that it would contribute to the Greek system on campus having a larger portion of the money we have to allocate because they’re larger organizations that can do more events,” Koch said.
While the logistics of the potential tier system have yet to be worked out, Koch said that expanding the budget for student organizations is key.
“All of the money from SGA comes from the student activity fee. More than two-thirds of that goes to ACE, but about a third of it goes to SGA,” Koch said.