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USG allocates emergency funds

By Jackie Wattles
On January 30, 2014

The Undergraduate Student Government allocated $1,815.71 in emergency funds to the University of Connecticut Dressage Team Wednesday night.
The dressage team requested to dip in to the emergency funds, which are reserved for unexpected expenditures or events that may come up for on-campus organizations. In an ironic twist of fate, the funding was denied to the group during the regular funding process because the chief financial officer of dressage failed to pass the funding mastery test and that CFO happens to be Claire Price, USG's comptroller, who controls the group's funds and helped develop the funding mastery test.
Price took the exam, she said, but because she is an administrator of the test - which appears on HuskyCT for financial officers - her scores did not show up in the database of results.
"I got a 100 several times," Price said. "But the results are automatic, and there was nothing I could do about it after the fact."
When a Tier II organization is denied funds from USG during the funding process as the dressage team was, they can appeal the decision. But Price is the chair of the appeals board. So, to secure funding for her team to attend the Intercollegiate Dressage Association in Virginia this April, she had to appeal to her fellow USG members.
USG controls more than $1 million in student fees each semester and the majority of it is allocated out to eligible student groups and organizations. The process for allocating those funds to Tier II organizations - which include club sports, cultural groups and honors societies - has been a controversial process. When Price took office last year, she helped spearhead an attempt to make the process smoother by educating the CFOs of groups that apply. Requiring CFOs to pass the funding mastery test was part of that effort.
The senate approved the funds for dressage unanimously. Price said other team expenses and trips to competitions will be funded by team dues this semester.
The $1,815.71 will cover 75 percent of the tab for sending dressage team members to the competition. Per USG funding policies, travel is never funded in full.
The Senate also approved $1862.27 for the UC ThundeRaas team, an Indian-style dance team, in order to attend the Beat of Raas competition at Rutgers University in February.
The group's CFO, Jit Sheth - a junior pre-pharmacy major - said the group did not apply for USG funds during the regular funding cycle because they weren't sure if they were accepted as competitors.
"We didn't hear back from the competition about whether we got in or not," Sheth said. "As soon as we did hear back, we made a funding request. We didn't expect to get in because it's such a prestigious competition."
USG approved the request unanimously.

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