A group of five Student Association (SA) members were in charge of distributing more than $60,000 to 90 student groups. “It was a long process,” said Cody Reilly, vice president of administration and finance. “You don’t really get to talk to 90 different groups that often, so it was great to see what everybody was doing.”
The Fund Allocation Committee (FAC) was comprised of Reilly, acting as chair of FAC; Ross Burns, vice president of Student Life; Matt Blake, vice chair of the FAC; Brittany Nystrom, campus outreach director and Mia Johnson, Better Neighbors program director.
Reilly and Burns both agreed that the process wasn’t too stressful, and they enjoyed getting to know other UMD organizations
“It’s nice to meet with those groups that have some smaller numbers but are still crucial to UMD and to their programs,” Burns said. “We had a lot of groups that were degree based … a lot of profession- and career-based stuff.”
All UMD student groups interested in FAC had to attend the leadership assembly on Sept. 23 to learn about how to apply for funding. The groups then had a week to submit their FAC application, which was followed up with a weeklong interview process.
From 3–11:30 p.m., Sept. 30–Oct. 7, the five SA members met with each group for 15 minutes, where the groups presented information to persuade the FAC committee for funding.
Reilly and Burns said one brand new group that stuck out in the FAC process was Women in Business.
“We’re really excited to get it going,” said Jenna Ecker, Women in Business president. “We’re excited to bring together all the different women in all the different majors, especially within LSBE.” Ecker added the group is open to all majors and genders.
Ecker said the group was made just a week prior to the assembly and that it was a fast process but ultimately turned out to be really good timing.
“We had to figure out what exactly our plans were and allocate a dollar amount to each of the plans and then come up with the total,” said Grace Menk, Women in Business treasurer.
Besides presenting budgets, size and future planned events, the groups were evaluated on the following criteria set in place by the FAC committee: accessibility to students, financial responsibility, contribution to cultural diversity, value to student body, quality of services and uniqueness of opportunities/services.
After the interview process, FAC then decided how to fairly distribute $60,885.28 to the 90 student groups that applied for funding.
The total amount requested from the 90 groups was more than double the available amount, at roughly $150,000. FAC worked with the available funds so every group who went through the FAC process was allocated money.
“The funny thing, going into the meeting we heard there was a possible cap on new clubs, but we had no idea that it was at $150 at all,” Ecker said. “It just makes it a little harder to do the things we wanted to do, but we always have cosponsoring as a possibility and obviously we’re going to reapply next semester.”
FAC reserved $5,516.76 of the budget for student groups wanting to apply during the spring FAC process.
“We set aside a certain amount of money for either groups that didn’t apply for funding in the fall or were one of those new groups in the fall so they were capped at $150 startup funds,” Burns said.
Student groups interested in creating a group or applying for FAC money should register online and sign up under the leadership email alias, according to FAC chair Reilly.
To see the FAC final amounts allocated, go to: http://umd-sa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/FAC-Interview-Notes-and-Amounts-Allocated.pdf.
BY KIM HYATT