SG considers limiting group funding grants

Student groups will have to be more selective when requesting money from Student Government if a proposed amendment passes at tonight’s full Senate meeting.

If passed, the changes to the Appropriations Act would limit student organizations to one funding grant per year, regardless of the type of request, and would remove the diversity requirement from what is currently the service and diversity grant.

The proposed changes to the act would let SG help more students who need funding next year, said Sen. Kevin Parrott, who co-sponsored the act with Sen. Mary Bosserman.

“We basically wanted to allow more groups to get funding,” he said. “We were looking for the best way to fray the cost, and that was to limit each group to one funding (request) per year.”

The service and diversity grant is currently reserved for community service projects or any event that the Appropriations and Revenue Committee deems as “promoting campus diversity.” The amendment would change the name to a “service grant” and the requirement about promoting diversity would be removed from the legislation.

Parrott, who is chairman of the committee, said he wanted to put more emphasis on service, which would not eliminate services to diversity. But requests for “diverse” groups and activities has begun to encompass more than SG expected, and defining what was beneficial to diversity was difficult to manage, he said.

“I felt like the true purpose of diversity grants was being corrupted,” Parrott said. “It isn’t that we don’t support diversity, we just changed it to have better control.”

Currently, student groups can apply for a service and diversity grant even after receiving another type of grant. Under the proposed rules, an organization could only receive funding once, regardless of the type of request. Grants for club sports, college student councils and service projects are limited to $1,000, while general funding grants are capped at $500.

Discussions to change the legislation began after the Appropriations and Revenue Committee allotted its entire $70,000 budget for student organizations by mid-February. Preventing that from happening again was a factor in proposing the changes, Parrott said.

Senate President Tyler Montell said the limit on grants per organization would ensure that students bring forward their best ideas and the projects that need funding the most.

“We want to make sure students are coming to us with the event they have the most need for,” said Montell, who was recently elected SG president for next year.

Montell reviewed the proposal and said he agreed with Parrott about the removal of the diversity grant.

“Not to downplay diversity, but it is such a general term,” Montell said. “So many things could be considered as diversity.”

If this act passes, Montell said he believes the A&R committee will operate much better next year. The changes Parrott and Bosserman suggested were well thought out and would benefit students who need funding from SG, he said.

“We want to affect as many students as possible and we want to make it fair,” Montell said.