Parker Dunaway ’15
The Student Finance Board, according to the HSC website, “allocates funds to, and governs the finances of, student-run clubs and organizations.” The most recent report of club allocations was released in the last issue of The Tiger showing the amounts that the SFB has allotted to HSC’s clubs. Seth Wagner ’14, Chairman of the SFB, commented that the system used to allocate these funds in the past is in need of an update, and he is exploring some ideas to revamp and better organize the system. However, there are clubs that are in financial positions that they were not expecting to be in due to the distribution of funding.
Wagner emphasized that he does not intend to criticize the work of previous SFB Chairmen, but he is aware that the system needs updating. One way he plans on improving it is by creating a database of prior requests from clubs. “I’m creating a database, an online and paper database for whoever takes on this role after me.” He went on to say “Although we can go back to The Tiger and see how much SFB has allocated we don’t have the current resources to go and see how much had been initially requested by clubs. If you ever want to change the way it’s done, you have to have records of what’s requested,” said Wagner. He also said that his office would be able to use this resource in the future to more properly administer its task.
Another task Wagner has assumed in order to make a club’s process easier within his office is the reworking and reissuing of “Club and Organization Handbook.” According to him, it was last “made” in 2005, and “it’s not even handed out to clubs now.” The handbook goes through the steps a club should take in order to have a production presentation to the SFB and what the guidelines are for receiving requested funding.
When talking to Wagner about what clubs should do throughout the year in order to receive requested funding, he responded, “[they should] contribute to overall student activities…. Numbers matter, but there are also small clubs that are extremely active.” Wagner did stress that ‘student activities fee’ that students pay every year isn’t a “end of year party fee, it’s not a snack fee, and that’s something we put into place when we decided on allocations.”
Wagner said he enjoys working with the club presidents in this process. He also said that he works with Cheryl Hill and Maggie Nicely in the business office, and Dean Ramsey, and that they have all been very helpful in these processes.
If you saw the allocations in the last issue of the Tiger, you may have noticed that some of the amounts were drastically smaller than others. Classics Club, for example, was the recipient of $15.00. I talked to Club President Lewis Bell about the funds and why they were that low. According to Bell, he expected a low number from the SFB. He explained that former club administrators had handled the finances of the club poorly and that showed in the presentation to the SFB. According to Wagner, he determined what the Classics Club needed via their proposal, and in that determination found that an addition of $15.00 would suffice. Bell said that although this isn’t catastrophic to the club, a large reorganizing of plans had to be done.
Bell was understanding of what was given to the Classics Club budget in regards to how the budget had been handled in the past, but he said that the allocations this year hurt the other club that he’s president of: the Future Educators Club. According to Bell, the finances of the Future Educators Club were in the red from last year’s administration of the club. When giving his proposal for the new year, he admitted the faults of the club and explained that he intended on expanding the club’s reach. It was his impression that the SFB were pleased by his proposal, but he later learned that his budget allocation was the difference of the negative amount from last year and the funding given this year. According to Bell, he is now left with $112.00 for the club’s events. He claims that because of the funding given to the Future Educators Club, the club will be less able to participate within the student body and further the name of the club by being an active group in the community. Bell said that recently, the club has been finding alumni and professors willing to give presentations and the like for nothing in hopes of helping the club grow and serve its purpose. In summation, Bell said that he doesn’t think that clubs should be financially punished for what former presidents have done; however, he does understand the steps taken.