Editorial: Changes to student organization funding by USG were sensible
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013 22:09
At the most recent Undergraduate Student Government meeting last Wednesday, several new changes in funding for student organizations went into effect. Although most of these changes are comparatively minor and procedural, they were smart decisions and thus no surprise they passed with large margins.
The senators approved a measure which would require an organization’s officers to take and successfully pass a “funding policy mastery test.” With the funding process often confusing many students, especially those holding the position of Chief Financial Officer for their respective group, this addition makes sense. An applicant can attempt the exam more than once, failing to achieve a high enough score on their firs try, so long as they surpass the threshold upon a subsequent attempt.
Another policy addition puts a strict maximum on the number of times a Tier II organization can request emergency funds per semester. The new cap of one time strikes the right balance, between ensuring that the emergency fund is there if need be and a true emergency arises, while simultaneously preventing it from being consistently utilized as a second source of money.
Funding recipients who violate these or any other official funding policies may now face more severe penalties. These include a suspension of funding for a month, as well as a nullification of any monies given related to the offense. Hopefully these new measures will provide a sufficient deterrent to prevent misconduct or other misuse of funds – which, we must not forget, are primarily collected through mandatory student fees.
However, some student organization representatives who spoke out at the meeting noted that the organizations being affected had not been consulted regarding the changes. One even recommended that organizations be notified with a document copy of the proposed changes. In this particular case it seems unlikely that the outcome would have resulted any differently. After all, the student organization representatives speaking at the meeting did not propose that the funding changes themselves were a poor decision. Still, this is not an unreasonable suggestion and may be something for USG to consider in the future. After all, the federal government is not the only one that should rely on the “consent of the governed.”