Daily Egyptian

RSO funding reduced by 78 percent

By Bill Lukitsch, @Bill_LukitschDE

Funding for student activities isn’t what it used to be at SIUC.

Registered student organizations will receive 22 percent of requested funding for the spring semester budget, according to Undergraduate Student Government treasurer Emma Rannebarger. Limited funding combined with a higher volume for requests and larger monetary needs required a 78 percent reduction, Rannebarger said. 

“The average RSO requests $1,000 for all of their events,” said Rannebarger, a junior from Champaign studying psychology. “This year we had RSOs request up to $19,000 for their events.”

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USG’s budget, one of multiple programs funded by the almost $4 per credit hour student activity fee, amounted to roughly $35,000 for each of the four budget periods, according to Rannebarger. Requests outnumbered available funds four times over, totaling $160,000 for this budget period, Rannebarger said.

A six-member funding board composed of student senators reviewed requests by RSOs and proposed the across-the-board cut.

The Big Muddy Crew had the largest request — for the annual Big Muddy Film Festival — according to Rannebarger. She said the majority of requests were for national conferences, averaging $3,000 to $4,000.

USG allocates funding for RSO activities during four budget periods to cover a calendar year. Budget periods that cover dates when the university is in session generally receive the highest influx of applications. 

Rannebarger said she has received complaints by officers from RSOs concerning the process to receive funds and the complexity of the system, because the current policy requires RSO officers to submit an application for funding months in advance.

But, the way these matters are handled may change in the near future.

The USG will vote Dec. 1 on legislation introduced by Rannebarger that would allow RSOs to submit applications six weeks before an event. By removing a calendar-based system and implementing a six-week application deadline on all funding requests, Rannebarger hopes RSOs can accurately plan for activities on and off campus.

“I really hope that it works,” she said. “But if it doesn’t, I’m more than willing to revisit it.” 

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