By Victor Ordonez
A new club budget guideline has been submitted and approved by the Student Life Council (SLC). United Student Government (USG) voted on the latest Student Activities Budget Committee Guidelines on March 22 and will be put into effect in the spring of 2018.
USG Vice President of Finance Elizabeth Crennan, FCRH ’19, led the construction of the new guidelines in tandem with other USG budget committee members.
The new guidelines clarify explicit details regarding different aspects of club funding, according to Crennan. The new budget guidelines specifically change the names for the two existing club categories. Referendum clubs will be known as “Block Funded Clubs” as of 2018 and general clubs will be referred to as “Standard Funded Clubs.”
Like referendum status, block funded status is intended for clubs who spend a consistent amount of money each semester and have proven to be fiscally responsible with their allocated funds, according to the guidelines.
To become a block funded club, club representatives must present at least three consecutive budgets from the most recent semesters, a detailed letter explaining why block funding would be beneficial and a projected budget for the upcoming semester.
Although not currently in the new guidelines, Crennan looks to improve future block funding requirements, including a detailed report as to how these clubs use their allocated funds.
“Referendum, soon to be known as ‘block funded’ clubs do not have a lot of accountability to the budget committee or the students,” said Crennan. “Most referendum clubs receive their block chunk without providing any information as to how they are going to spend it or back-up documentation.”
However, standard funded clubs are strictly allocated funds through the budget committee, according to Crennan.
The term “Standard Funding” refers to funding classification of many clubs and organizations in the Fordham community that are either not eligible or have not applied for block funding. The standard funded clubs will apply for funding with specifications of costs and backup documentation for all purchases and whose annual budget day packets vary in amount, according to the guidelines.
“Standard have to submit general dates, and work event by event,” said Crennan. “The standard clubs need to supply valid information regarding their event and appeal for funding.”
Crennan said that she aims to mimic standard funded clubs’ accountability when it comes to clubs that are block funded.
“Our committee is looking to make big changes,” said Crennan. USG will be looking for a general outline from block funded clubs affirming how the budget will be spent.
Crennan said that the lack of referendum club spending is currently due to varying club governing bodies. “Some clubs have treasurers, others do not,” said Crennan. “USG simply looks to be more informed.”
Crennan is up for reelection as USG VP of finance, but she trusts that whoever fills her position next will assist clubs in reviewing the new guidelines.
“Whoever is next in line for the position will be available to speak to clubs and guide them through the new guidelines set by the committee in 2018,” said Crennan.