Members of various registered student Organizations addressed their funding and policy concerns, while also hearing suggestions and explanations from student government at a Finance Committee meeting held Tuesday.
Finance Committee Chair Andrew Kidd, Nominations Board Chair Sean McNally and Student Services Finance Committee Chair Ellie Bruecker were seeking feedback from various student organizations to know how Associated Students of Madison policies can best serve the groups.
The issue of needing to have the ASM required logo and disclaimer attached to student organizations was addressed by the leaders of the meeting.
“Recognition of where the money comes from is important,” Kidd said.
Kidd said the logo and disclaimer is the standard approach for identification of student groups.
Mari Vangen, a member of Campus Womens Center, said her organization often has questions only SSFC has the ability and qualifications to answer. She suggested having multiple SSFC representatives available to answer these questions in order to make the process more convenient and efficient.
Bruecker said a goal for the future is to have a training program for liaisons who would represent SSFC and be informed enough to answer questions for each of the student organizations.
“There’s a little bit of a consistency issue there,” Bruecker said.
This is due to the differences in dedication these liaisons may or may not possess, Bruecker added, so it would be unfair to specific student organizations if they did not receive the same caliber of advice as others, she said.
Katie Baldwin, member of Engineers Without Borders, brought up the issue of travel grants and how to obtain them most efficiently.
According to Kidd, the issue with travel grants this year originated when ASM ran out of money rather quickly and various organizations were applying for more than one grant per semester.
“Apply early, that’s always the best policy,” Kidd said.
The Finance Committee also hopes to rely on social media to bring about awareness because the committee underutilizes it, according to Kidd.
Bruecker also stressed the importance of student organizations not applying for more money than they need or will use in their budgets. She said this is important because the unused money of specific organizations cannot be allocated to other student organizations that may actually be in need of money.
She suggested ASM could be doing a better job of helping out student organizations by advising them on how to budget for their upcoming year.
CWC also addressed planning the budget for the group a year in advance. This stifles creativity for the new year and disables the organization from moving away from ideas since the previous year, she said.
“Groups coming into a budget they didn’t write is difficult and we understand that,” Bruecker said.
She said this has to happen because it is difficult to do budget alterations later in the year when they may be needed.