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Student Union fund distribution differs from 2004-05

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The approval of the Student Union budget Monday night by the Council of Representatives will allow for nearly $362,000 to be distributed between various clubs and organizations for the 2005-06 school year.The distribution of those funds, which campus clubs and organizations essentially rely on for their existence, is decided by the Financial Management Board – a wing of the Student Union responsible for allocating and maintaining student government finances.Though this year’s total amount of available funds was only slightly higher than the previous year’s – $361,310 compared to $356,838 – the distribution of those funds was vastly different in certain areas.Last year, due to the low attendance rate for a SUB-sponsored event with David Spade, the chief programming group for the student body was only allocated $189,360.But last night, COR approved a budget that will grant SUB almost $209,000 for the coming school year, a significant increase from last year’s allocation.”The main reason SUB received more funds is because they had a very, very successful year on a very, very tight budget,” FMB treasurer Mike Marshall said. “We felt they deserved to have more money in their pockets to improve programming even more.”However, such a dramatic increase in funding for some organizations will naturally cause budget tightening in other areas. The Hall President’s Council, for example, sought more funds for the coming school year but was actually given $10,000 less than last year’s allocation.”HPC was the most difficult to allocate,” Marshall said. “It is difficult to tell residence halls they’ll be getting less money when we know that so many people are so dedicated to their dorms.”Marshall said the main reason HPC was not given more money was based on FMB board members citing that some residence halls have more money than they actually use.”A lot of members of FMB heard that certain residence halls were searching for ways to spend money,” Marshall said. “So maybe the HPC can take the $10,000 hit and just absorb it because so many halls are looking for ways to spend excess money.”Student body president Dave Baron was confident the thriving dorm life of Notre Dame would not be affected by the allocation.”I think the traditions that make residence halls good are still there and are well funded,” Baron said. “There are other opportunities that halls can pursue through academic departments.”Inevitably, those who unsuccessfully appeal for more funding will be disappointed, Marshall said.Clubs and Organizations approached FMB seeking nearly $100,000 over their fixed allocation of $252,987. Marshall said this appeal was unprecedented and happened due to the success of several new clubs, such as LeadND.”Clubs and Organiza-tions had a huge influx of new members, and they had new clubs that got really ambitious and were very productive,” Marshall said. “So they had a lot of clubs asking for more money so they can improve even more next year.”The funds available for allocation come from revenues brought in from activity fees and The Shirt. For the first $200,000 brought in from The Shirt, the Student Union is guaranteed $100,000. Any additional money brought in from sales will not be allocated until December, when the Board reviews spending and campus organizations appeal for more funds.