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ASUA budgets $85,000 to club funding

Josh Fields/Arizona Daily Wildcat
ASUA Sen. Patrick Cook gives sophomores Amanda Condon and Adeel Yang a ride across campus yesterday afternoon. Senators will be giving students rides to classes and residence halls every Wednesday in exchange for filling out a short survey about ASUA.
By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 1, 2005
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Student government officials are encouraging new clubs to come in and ask for funding, but clubs requesting money should also look to other sources, members said.

UA clubs should not have a problem garnering money from the Associated Students of the University of Arizona's hefty budget, which is set aside for such expenses, but they should not rely on ASUA alone, said Erin Hertzog, ASUA executive vice president.

"If a club relies on one source for funding, then they're not going to get as much as they could've from other sources," said ASUA Sen. Ryan Erickson.

At the same time, the board responsible for allocating funds tries to go with the philosophy of partially funding as many clubs as possible and shying away from fully funding the same clubs and people who always come in, Erickson said

The club-funding budget this year is $85,000, up $5,000 more than last year. She said the budget essentially goes up each year, and ASUA finds a way to spend all of it in helping to fund as many clubs as possible, said Hertzog, a journalism junior.

"There's enough money to fund everything," said Hertzog, adding that ASUA will take money from their other sources to help fund clubs if their own funding starts to dwindle. "They're very generous in getting all clubs funded. All of the $85,000 will be used."

Club members asking for money should also do their homework, however, before making a request.

Detailed paperwork, having funding from other sources and opening the event up to everyone on campus are some of the ways to help ensure clubs get the necessary and proper funding for their event, said Erickson, a public management and policy junior.

Nicole Sanderson, president of Energy Conservation and Lifestyles Initiative Partnering Students and their Environment, said the group received all of the funding they asked for last semester in trying to accomplish their goal of conserving natural resources on campus.

She said the initial process took a lot of inquiry to find out what the club needed to get accomplished and ASUA wasn't going to do the work for them.

"(But) it was pretty easy to get funding when we first approached ASUA about a year and a half ago," said Sanderson, an anthropology junior.

Clubs that want to request money from the student government first need to appear before the ASUA allocations board, which comprises seven members who listen to the different funding proposals from requesting clubs, Hertzog said.

The board then has more than a week to present a consent agenda to the senate. At this time, the board discusses the club's request for funding and then the decision is put to a vote.

At least four of the board members must be in agreement to pass the funding of an event. Once the board has approved a funding request, they have one more day to look over the paperwork before the senate decides on whether or not to fund it, Hertzog said.

The allocations board does not discuss the potentiality of whether the club deserves funding until Wednesday when the club is there to defend themselves and ask questions in front of the board.

"Otherwise it would be completely unethical for us to arbitrarily make a decision without debate," Hertzog said.

Although the allocations board is charitable in distributing money to clubs, there are "very fair and distinct precedents" in allocating budget funding, Hertzog said.

Funding for anything gift related and reimbursements, except for traveling expenses, cannot be allotted by ASUA. Though a group can appeal the decision handed down by ASUA through an appeals process, the senate never hears the proposal again, Hertzog said.

The appeals process goes through an appeals board comprising of the executive vice president, a senator and the appropriations chair before the senate decides the ultimate fate with a vote.

ASUA senators are handling the funding process of clubs until the appropriations board takes over for the remainder of the year starting Sept. 12.

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