Increasing Number of Clubs Means Decreasing Budgets

Increasing Number of Clubs Means Decreasing Budgets

Le Moyne clubs have faced major budget cuts this semester. The Organizational Finance and Review Committee [OFRC], a standing committee of the Student Government Association [SGA], is being forced to decrease financial allowances due to a hike in the number of clubs on campus.

On campus clubs requested a combined total of $40,000 more than last year’s proposals. Le Moyne currently hosts between 75 and 79 clubs on campus, with six new clubs awaiting approval this semester. Senior Henry Eisloeffel, co-chair of OFRC and Vice President of Club Development in SGA, says that a campus as small as Le Moyne’s cannot accommodate such a high amount of organizations. Junior Derek Matina, co-chair of OFRC and Vice President of Finance in SGA, says that Le Moyne just doesn’t have the funds.

Eisloeffel and Matina explained that Le Moyne allocates about a quarter of a million dollars yearly to distribute between clubs. This divides into $120,000 per semester and is a set amount that comes out of the club activities fee students pay as part of tuition. This amount does not increase from year to year. Club participation increases with higher incoming classes, but the overall budget remains stagnant.

Higher club interest leads to formation of new clubs on campus. Eisloeffel explained the process: a new club must submit a constitution, 15 signatures of hopeful attendees, and a sample budget to the OFRC who then votes on it. If a majority vote is achieved, the club goes on to SGA for another vote. If another majority vote is achieved, the club goes on to Deb Katie Melzer, and then on to administration to be approved. New clubs are rewarded either $500 or $750 their first semester, depending on their plans and how detailed their budgets are.

Returning clubs must submit their budget proposals to OFRC for review each semester, as well. Returning clubs have proven membership and consistency, so they get priority over newly established clubs. Matina says that the average budget for clubs is $1,200 per semester.

Eisloeffel states that the budget proposals must be written “to a T.” Budgets must include all intended spending, including taxes. A budget proposal should be created by the executive board of the club in conjunction with OFRC and its bylaws. Budget cuts are mostly a result of breaking the bylaws. For example, food is not allowed in a budget since OFRC believes it should not be a motivating factor in club participation. Matina says when reviewing budgets, the OFRC board looks for budgets that increase programming, interests members to improve attendance, and invest in events that provide positive outcomes.

Budgets will be enforced by monitoring attendance along with random audits. One out of every seven clubs will be audited each semester to examine how money is being spent. Matina urges executive board members to be honest and use their money for the allotted purpose in order to benefit the campus and students.

Unfortunately, due to the static overall budget for clubs, there doesn’t seem to be a solution unless the amount of money increases or there are fewer clubs on campus.

Despite this, Eisloeffel and Matina both encourage club participation and say they want to make everybody happy. They both agree that the club presidents and OFRC must work together. They also point out that smaller clubs that are similar can join together to become a larger club which can host larger events, or two different clubs can team up to work together on an event.

In terms of budgeting, Matina entreats clubs to “ask what’s realistic” and follow the OFRC bylaws so that there can be more budget approval and less budget reforming. Changes are in the process to make the bylaws easier to understand by being more concise while not limiting club creativity.

Club budgets for spring semester will be due in the beginning of December. Before Thanksgiving there will be a Q&A session for executive boards to go over guidelines and goals for budgets. Matina hopes that through club executives and OFRC collaboration, the whole process can become quicker and easier for everyone involved.