Missed deadline means empty pockets for some clubs

By The Beacon | March 30, 2011 9:00pm
Businessman with empty pockets (with clipping paths)

Thirty clubs that failed to meet the budget request deadline will not receive ASUP funding

(The Beacon)

By Sarah Hansell, Staff Writer -- hansell14@up.edu

About 30 clubs and organizations will not receive funding from ASUP for the fall 2011 semester because they missed the submission deadline.

They include Crew Club, Men's Soccer and Men's Water Polo.

Funding requests were due March 11. About 70 percent of the clubs and other groups eligible for funds turned in the funding requests on time.

ASUP Treasurer and senior Ben Thompson made the decision to honor the deadline, leaving about 30 clubs and other groups without funding from ASUP for next semester.

"About 30 percent of the people eligible to receive funds from ASUP did not turn in a budget request," Thompson said. "As far as I know there has never been an incident like this before."

Besides official clubs, the groups eligible for funding include CPB, service-learning trips and KDUP.

Although the Executive Board supports Thompson's decision, some senators and club members disagree with this choice.

"If (that many) of our clubs aren't turning in a budget I don't think it's just a coincidence," said ASUP Senator and sophomore Kyle Hamm, who is also co-president of Schools for Schools, which did not turn its request in on time. "I think there's an issue in communication that we need to take responsibility for."

Crew Club President Kyle McDonnell, a sophomore, agrees that there is a communication problem with ASUP, but acknowledges that the responsibility also lies with the clubs. Crew Club did not turn in a budget request on time – McDonnell said they received one email reminder in mid-February.

"I think it's just a communication issue, not just between clubs and themselves but an ASUP communication issue," McDonnell said. "I don't see 30 percent of clubs not submitting a budget as just an ‘oops.'"

Other senators and students involved in clubs find the decision to be a fair one.

"College is prepping us for the real world," said ASUP Senator and senior Chloe Ruffin, treasurer of Kappa Delta Pi, a club that did turn in its request on time. "(In the real world) if you miss deadlines on your job, issues are going to rise."

KDUP's General Manager Aaron Davis, a senior, said KDUP has had a communication problem with ASUP for a long time. It is not on ASUP's email list because it is a branch of student media rather than an official club. KDUP did not turn a request in on time, but was able to negotiate with ASUP to be included in the budget because it did not receive an email reminder.

"In the past I've never heard of a problem like this," Davis said. "If KDUP has always had a problem with communication with ASUP, I assume the other clubs have too."

Members of the finance committee, a group of senators headed by Thompson, which crafts a proposed budget for the Senate to review, stand behind his decision.

"It's unfortunate," ASUP Senator, member of the finance committee and freshman Melanie Pesut said. "But I feel that Ben has done his job to its fullest and the finance board supports him."

This year ASUP had just over $200,000 to put toward funding for clubs and other organizations.

Because approximately 30 percent of the clubs missed the deadline, the groups that turned in their requests on time will receive more funding than they would have otherwise.

The finance committee finished next semester's ASUP budget last Friday.

Although the primary decision regarding the budget is made by the treasurer and the finance committee, the Senate can choose to amend the budget during the last two ASUP meetings of the semester. This potentially gives clubs who missed the deadline another chance to receive funding.

Clubs and other group members can contest the budget and request changes at the budget debates on April 4 and 11.

However, since the entire budget has already been crafted, there is no extra money for clubs that want more. The money must be taken away from another club or group and reallocated to the new club.

"If clubs want more than what we have proposed to give, they have to propose taking it from another club," Thompson said.

In making the decision to honor the deadline, the finance committee and the executive board wanted to treat all the clubs and groups fairly.

"(Our) number one reasoning is that basically a deadline is a deadline," ASUP Vice President and senior Katie Scally said. "We didn't think it would be fair to other clubs who did manage to get all their information in on time."

(Bryan Brenize -- The Beacon)

(Scott Chia -- The Beacon)