By Jewell Porter
As most student organization leaders know, budgets were due last week on March 4. As a result of the recent change in the budgeting process, students may be confused about what they should expect in the coming weeks while waiting for their budgets.
Meghan Pearce ‘16, the president of DCGA, said that the finance committee will be meeting almost daily to review the 153 budgets they received last week until March 30. On March 31, the budgets will be released back to each organization.
Pearce said that once budgets are released, students will have the option to enter the appeals process, which is essentially a check on the finance committee to “justify why they didn’t fund something.” So, if the finance committee did not fund something that is essential to the purpose of the organization, then they have a second chance in receiving funds.
The appeals committee is made up of members of DCGA, namely speaker Jackson Wu-Pong ‘15 and DCGA’s rules chair, Sarah Hoffman ‘17. Two members from the policy and public relations committees will be on the committee as well.
Pearce said that “after the appeals board deliberates, the appeals go before DCGA where they decide whether or not something is funded.” All organizations wishing to submit an appeal must do so by April 7 at noon.
The change in the budget process resulted from student complaints that the forms were too difficult to navigate and the over-allocation of funds to campus organizations. Pearce said, “Previously, we’ve given the entire amount that students have asked for in their budgets, but they didn’t tend to use the full amount,” so the money just went back to DCGA.
In recent years, however, student organizations have used the full amount of money they ask for. As a result of this, they were forced to dip into the Reserve Fund, which decreased significantly last year when DCGA used the money to fund several student initiatives, including The Nest and La Fuerza Latina’s new space.
Pearce said that student organizations should expect to see a smaller budget than they have in recent years.