Editorial: Granting requests not a fast decision

Two years after almost running out of funds, the Finance Board has finally gotten its spontaneous funding budget back on track. On Feb. 22, the board released its budget at the Student Government Association Senate meeting. Since Aug. 8, 2010, the Finance Board has received 50 requests for money from different organizations on campus. Most of the groups were given only a percentage of the amount they requested from the Finance Board’s $184,855 spontaneous funding budget.

According to a March 2009 article by The Rider News, the Finance Board began the 2008-2009 school year with more than $150,000 and by November was down to just $21,000. To avoid running out of money so quickly, the Finance Board has been more stringent with allotting money and has therefore been able to give to more groups. This time last year the board had almost $18,000 left, nearly 35 percent less than this year’s remaining $52,000. The Finance Board is to be commended for being more selective with its budget.

Despite the multiple requests for funding, the Finance Board has not given the full amount of money requested by 48 percent of the groups, and has been taking the time to consider and vote on how money should be divvied up among the various groups on campus. We commend them for that, as these decisions cannot be made hastily. In total, the Finance Board gave just 24 organizations all of the money that they asked for.

So far this year, almost $179,000 was requested by groups on campus, and 74 percent of that, or about $132,000 was granted. This is a vast improvement compared to what was given out at this point last year — about $147,000 out of the $258,000 requested.

Currently, there are no criteria for figuring out which groups receive more money. A list of requirements should be enforced to help the Finance Board select whose needs are greatest.

In a previous editorial, “What students want to see next,” The Rider News discussed hopes that the university would ultimately put more funds toward improving the quality of campus food, creating more on- and off-campus entertainment for students over the weekends, bettering living conditions in the residence halls and helping students with tuition. Although the Finance Board’s budget allocations cannot reasonably cover all of these tasks, it’s reassuring to see that it’s aiding organizations in funding programs for students, as well as conferences and guest speakers at the university.

Requests for conference funding totaled more than $80,000. Fifty nine percent of the requests were covered, with the finance board giving $48,425.02 toward conferences, which often includes travel and meal expenses. Ninety two percent of the $7,576.35 requested for speakers was allotted to those organizations, while 85 percent of the budget went to club sports teams, clubs and other programming for a total of $70,948.19.

These three requests are important to a large portion of the student body, and none of them received the full amount that was asked for. So, it’s important to remember that not all groups will get exactly what they want.

When asking for money, it is important to consider if these events will not only benefit the student body and university as a whole, but also whether they’re going to be valuable learning experiences for everyone involved. Conferences such as those for the National Broadcasting Society, for example, are valuable for radio/TV majors because the information they learn there will be helpful in their future careers. But, a money request for the Anime USA conference seems a bit more unnecessary, as it will affect a smaller portion of students. The events should be considered for their educational value to both the individuals and the university.

The Finance Board has done a good job at giving organizations the chance for experiences both on and off campus. In the future, we hope it will continue to prioritize activities that will benefit everyone, giving Rider students the best possible opportunities.

This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Managing Editor, Kaitlin MacRae.

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