Guard Dogs plan to separate from USG
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 00:10
Guard Dogs is beginning the long process of becoming an independent Tier III organization separate from USG, according to Guard Dogs Executive Director Adam Batholomeo.
Currently Guard Dogs operates as a program within USG, meaning they fall under USG jurisdiction and work closely with the organization. However, members of Guard Dogs do not have to be members of USG. The advantage to this set-up, according to Batholemeo, is that Guard Dogs does not have to apply for funding, but rather is allocated a certain amount of USG’s total budget next semester, an average of $40,000 a semester.
“Funding is the primary relationship,” said Bartholomeo. “We operate 100 percent independently otherwise.”
Around two-thirds of that $40,000 goes to rental, insurance and fueling costs for the cars used to provide free rides to students Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The rest goes toward operational and membership cost and promotion.
How to maintain that level of funding is a main point of discussion as Guard Dogs moves to become completely independent of USG. While there has been some discussion of Guard Dogs petitioning for its own fee, other options are also being discussed, said Bartholomeo, especially given that the USG fee increase from $45 is set to go into effect next year.
“I want to make sure that the option that we go with is going to benefit the students, because ultimately it’s all for them,” said Bartholomeo.
Also in the works is a move to purchase vehicles for Guard Dogs’ use rather than renting cars every weekend. Bartholomeo explained that owning cars could be less expensive in the long run. The money for the cars comes from a USG saving initiative in progress this year.
Tier III organizations are defined by the University as supported by student fees. Currently there are nine Tier III organizations on campus. Undergraduate students pay $87 each in support of these organizations, according to the Bursar’s Office. With over 17,000 undergraduate students, that amounts to potentially over $1.5 million, although an exact number was not available from the Bursar’s Office.