By Julia Hodges
Husky Herald Opinion Writer
Have you ever wondered how all the clubs and organizations on campus are funded?
These student-led organizations are funded by the Services and Activities Fee, or SAF for short. This SAF fund is made possible through the collection of $123 per full-time student each quarter, which is included in tuition costs. Recently the 2012-2013 SAF proposals were sent in from student organizations requesting funds for the next school year.
This year it seems that there has been a shortage of funds. There are many assumptions as to why this occurred, but first let us look at some facts.
This year, 24 clubs or organizations requested funds. These clubs included ASUWB, the new Campus Radio, the Husky Herald, Policy Journal, the Debate Society and many others. Last year only 18 organizations requested funding.
Each club is asked to create a budget request intended to cover their necessities, which is than reviewed by the SAF committee consisting of seven students and one adviser. The level and distribution of the fee is recommended by the SAF Committee after a 10 minute hearing with representatives from each organization. The recommendations are then approved by the chancellor and are authorized by the Board of Regents for each academic year.
During the 2011-2012 year, nearly all of the requesting clubs received most of what was originally requested. This year, many of the proposals were only partially awarded funds, or not rewarded any funds at all.
KUWB is a student-run radio that is in the process of securing the a physical space and the technology needed to begin broadcasting. In addition, the club requested the necessary funds to secure the required copyright fees, which would allow music to be played. KUWB has been trying to start streaming online for the last few months, but in order to start, it needs to pay the fees to procure music legally. KUWB requested $1356.00 to pay for those fees but the SAF denied access to those funds.
Without the distribution of that money, KUWB could not fund the creation of a campus radio station.
After receiving the SAF recommendation, each organization is entitled to another 10 minute appeal hearing. After participating in that hearing, KUWB was informed that it cannot access funds from SAF. However, they could access enough funding directly from Student Life to pay the copyright fees.
While KUWB’s bad news turned out to be okay, many other clubs and organizations have not been so lucky. The Debate society requested $14,700.00, yet only received $4,200.00. That difference is large enough to make drastic changes to the organization.
According to a representative of the Husky Herald, SAF has recommended the removal of three salaried positions, including the Director of Web Technologies. The club fears that, without a web expert, the quality of the online publication may be drastically effected. Interestingly, Jodi St. George, who holds a Chair position for the SAF committee and who is running for next year’s ASUWB Director of Public Relations position, has claimed on recent campaign advertisements that she hopes for a weekly print publication in the future. With the current level of funding available, the Husky Herald cannot afford even a quarterly print edition and the cuts have denied their desire to do so.
There are many student assumptions as to why the money was stretched so thin this year. It potentially could have been because funding is needed for the new UW-3 building and sports field. The shortages may also have simply been due to an increase in the number of clubs who were requesting large amounts of funds, resulting in the SAF committee making drastic decisions.
Unfortunately, St. George did not respond to my requests for further information, so we are left to wonder why some clubs received funding and why others did not.