Club members reflect on club funding experiences
Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter
After emerging from provisional status after one year, Kimberly Petrovic, nursing professor and Club Taekwondo advisor, said launching Club Taekwondo and establishing funding has been nothing but a positive experience.
Petrovic said people like Mandi Kuster, interim assistant director for campus recreation, navigated her throughout the entire process and made it manageable.
“Kuster, she has just been phenomenal. I can’t say enough good about her. I asked her 500 questions over the last year, she has answered every one,” said Petrovic. “One of the big questions that we had was about funding. We were so focused on getting the paperwork and the proposal in, getting the space, and getting the students, then it occurred to us, we need money.”
Petrovic said, after achieving club status, Kuster not only helped Club Taekwondo attain about $500 necessary for equipment, but further assisted Petrovic with a state school tax exemption, making the equipment much more affordable.
Anthony Deleon, sophomore accounting major, and Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) treasurer, said that while he is grateful for all of the funding Southern provides, the event aid application can prove to be difficult because it requires a detailed description of how it will benefit and educate Southern students. Although, he does admit that the event funding process is very lenient overall, and most of the requests OLAS submits are accepted.
Deleon added that OLAS president, Kaylee Quintanilla, attends Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee meetings to remain up-to-date with information regarding club and organizational funding, as well as to raise her own questions and concerns, and that other clubs should be doing the same.
“[SAFAC] are the ones that fund you, so you should definitely find out where the funding is coming from or why they aren’t funding you enough,” said Deleon. “Any questions or concerns that you may have, then you should definitely go.”
Daphney Alston, assistant director for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, said funding provisions are decided upon by SAFAC, an organization advised by Charlene Cammarasana, assistant director of fiscal administration for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, and Denise Bentley-Drobish, director of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, and representatives from student government, Programs Council, and the Residence Hall Association. She said SAFAC also distributes additional funding for clubs and organizations for educational trips and events, as long as they are open to all students.
Alston said student funded organizations have consistently received $400 in the fall semester and $200 in the spring semester over the last few years, but allowances for four-day hotel stays lowered from $150 to $100 and clubs are now limited to a national conference every two years versus yearly. She said SAFAC had to account for a variety of factors: lower student enrollment, a state deficit, as well as accommodations for more clubs needs and desires.
Alston said she feels as though SAFAC’s changes would provide Southern with the ability to accommodate more clubs in the future and will allow them to become more financially responsible long-term.
“I personally think it’s a very fiscally responsible decision and something that I would probably hope to see be our standard moving forward,” said Alston. “I think in the big picture, I want us to be able to create more clubs, that means we are supporting more identities and more interests, offering more opportunities for our students to feel like they belong. If that means we have to stretch our money as much as possible, I’m in favor of that and I would just hope that our students would have the big picture in mind.”
Photo Credit: Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter
PHOTO: Club Taekwondo. Members include Kimberly Petrovic, Club Taekwondo advisor and nursing professor, Paul Nicholas, Jasmine Brown, and Noel Lord.