Lack of efficiency degrades SGA funding system hindering CSOs


Peony Lee / Chief Illustrator

Student Government Association proved this weekend during the appeals process for Chartered Student Organization funding that the structure of appealing for funds needs changing.

Key problems include the lack of objectivity, the lack of understanding of funding rules from senators not involved on Finance Committee and the timeline of the appeals process.
First, senators who are part of student organizations in the appeals process need to exempt their vote. Fair voting is all but thrown out the window when a senator gets up during the appeals meeting to speak on behalf of their organization and then is allowed to cast their ballot on the issue. This breaks standards of objectivity and destroys fairness.

Second, senators outside of Finance Committee need to have a full and thorough understanding of their budget before the process begins. Discussions on whether or not certain types of organizations should be allowed funding wastes time during the appeals process—this should have been worked out a long time ago. Make it clear and inviolable from the outset that these are the rules you need to abide by. Otherwise, it seems that the rules are invented and new to the CSOs and other senators, OR senators are arguing about motions and issues that waste time because they are irrelevant or non-pertinent problems.

Third, the nearly day-long meeting for appeals ruins chances for CSO’s who have to present at the end of the meeting when senators are just exhausted. Also, funding is determined on the spot.

Without having the full budget laid out in front of each senator and without fully knowing much money they can in fact give out defeats any chances SGA has of allocating funds intelligently. They need to hear the CSO appeals and take thorough notes. After that, there needs to be a separate meeting later to discuss the appeals in regards to the funding rules and the total SGA budget. Deciding funds on the spot could leave SGA dry of funds, and this realization comes too late.

While CSOs do have the responsibility of understanding finance rules, too many CSOs are still appealing for funding without knowing the rules. Finance Committee, though they provide several outlets for CSOs to inform themselves, could perhaps prepare an example budget that would incorporate all the rules of finance.

With CSOs being able to access this, many of them would not appeal for money they are likely not going to receive. Additionally, CSOs who do understand the rules need to being explaining why their events will benefit the larger SLU community and improve campus; they need to come prepared with unique reasons, and the appeal should not be a reiteration of funding meetings. SGA works hard to be fair to student organizations, but the system is not perfect, and it clearly needs reworking and restructuring.