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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Secured clubs gain, others make do with less

Published: September 23, 2010
Section: Front Page

Chartered clubs received 42 percent of requested funds from the Student Union Finance Board, a decrease from 68.7 percent last fall. Secured organizations, or those guaranteed to receive a certain baseline funding by the Union Constitution, meanwhile received an additional $55,000, according to Student Union Treasurer Akash Vadalia ’11.

The additional funding for secured clubs is one of many reasons for the decrease in allocations to unsecured clubs. Vadalia said there are “at least five” reasons, “from the cost of the new website, [$10,000]; the fact that there are more clubs; they requested a larger amount of money than last year’s; and last year’s budget having to borrow from this year’s,” in addition to the secured organizations’ increases.

This year, 30 additional clubs requested funds from the Student Union Finance Board, resulting in a 32 percent increase in total requests. More than 150 clubs requested $463,000 during the marathon period.

Vadalia explained that the decrease in funding for unsecured clubs can, in part, be attributed to a financial error on the part of the board.

“Last year, we assumed that clubs would spend about 80 percent of the money we had allocated,” which would allow for some funds to roll over into the Fall 2010 fund, Vadalia said. “But clubs spent almost 100 percent last year.”

As a result, the Finance Board used funds for Fall 2010 to pay for club activities in the spring.

Secured clubs, which must be approved by the student body in a vote in order to become financially secure, still appear before the F-board and use only their Constitutionally defined amount as a “baseline,” Vadalia said.

(The Justice is an exception to this understanding. The Union Constitution not only defines them as a secured organization, but also grants them a “Printing Fund,” and they apply directly to the university’s general budget analyst).

“In total, secured clubs were allocated a total of $55,000 more,” F-board Chair Makensley Lordeus ’11 said, before listing: “the Justice’s additional $2,000; SSIS receiving an additional $5,000; or Waltham Group’s additional $8,000.”

“Waltham Group, for instance, received that for CORE checks,” Lordeus said, “and the university just told us how much that would be.”

“There are many factors that play into our ability to sufficiently fund and please clubs this year,” Vadalia said. “We have appeals next week.”