The newest regulations on clubs have come to bear at the beginning of this semester. The Student Finance Board, the organization in charge of club funding, has decreed that all clubs must begin charging mandatory dues of at least 5 dollars. While talking with Damien Sharp, the head of the Student Finance Board, he disclosed that over seventy clubs and organizations file for budgets and are audited by the Student Finance Board. With a limited amount of funds available from the school, there is a massive amount of competition for inadequate funding. On top of this, with the projected events that club officers must present during each audit, there seem to be some clubs that request inflated budgets for their plans. By having the clubs collect dues, their members can share some of the brunt of the budget, which would relieve the school of some of its burden of funding organizations. Even in a small club that would report 10 members, the extra $50 that dues would bring in could be used to fund an event solely for members.
Currently, some clubs charge dues to members in order to better support themselves. For example, the International Club charges $10 dues in order to cover some of the costs of club trips. With the more active organizations, these dues may not be a problem, but this will present a roadblock to newer clubs. As a club officer, I know the challenge of having new members attend on a weekly basis, much less having members return each year. Introducing dues could very well lower attendance at meetings and create obstacles for campus events that are often sponsored by clubs.
Rather than introducing mandatory dues and causing revisions of many clubs constitutions in order to meet with the new requirements, it may be substantially easier for the Student Finance Board to restructure club spending. One of the most frequent complaints is that clubs will spend money on purchases that the Board condemns, such as t-shirts and dinners exclusively for members. By introducing harsher rules in conjunction with the Business Office, the Student Finance Board should be able to reduce the ability of clubs to make unapproved purchases. Drawing a hard line by having club accounts barred from reimbursing certain categories of purchases could prevent overspending by clubs and lower the total amount drawn from the club funds budgeted by the school. This medium between enforced fees and harsher enforcement of rules could keep expenditures down while keeping some clubs free for students and avoiding a reduction in club activity.