With SG low on cash, groups seek other funds

Student organizations are going to have to find funding sources other than Student Government for the rest of this school year.

SG used up the remainder of its funds set aside for student groups — $70,000 for the year, more than a fifth of SG’s $315,000 budget — at last week’s Senate meeting. The Senate voted to give around $10,000 to fund eight Senate special projects.

Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Kevin Parrott said about 10 student organizations have turned in funding requests that SG cannot afford, and he is contacting the groups to let them know there is no more money available.

The UK Forestry Club is one group that had asked for funds that are now unavailable. Club president Ryan McNertney, a forestry senior, said SG had not contacted him yet, but he had heard that A&R had no more money to allocate.

“It’s not fair, but the blame doesn’t fall directly on (SG),” McNertney said. “I think if they say they’re here to fund student organizations, they should be able to offer money more than a couple months into the semester.”

The club was requesting $500 to help with travel expenses to go to a competition at the University of Florida, McNertney said. Without SG funding, the burden will fall on the club members, he said.

The Japanese Culture in Kentucky Society also applied for funding from SG but will not receive money.

Ben Chaffins, the group’s treasurer, said it asked for money to help pay for club trips. SG should have planned better to prevent this situation, he said.

“My view is that (SG) should have an idea of how many clubs and organizations come to them every year,” said Chaffins, a biology junior. “I’ve never heard of them running out of money in February before.”

The Japanese Culture Society will be looking for donations from places in the community to find the money that SG could not provide, Chaffins said.

Jesse Horn, former president and current member of the UK men’s rugby team — which received $1,000 for new bleachers at the last Senate meeting — said since groups cannot get any more SG funding, they could try to find local sponsors.

“If you’re willing to have people tell you no, you’ll end up with some money in your hand,” said Horn, a community and leadership development graduate student.

However, many organizations like his depend on SG money during the year, Horn said.

“Club sports don’t receive a great deal of funding from the university,” Horn said. “We certainly wouldn’t have been able to purchase the bleachers without that money.”

Horn said even though many organizations have membership dues, that money goes quickly. Registration dues, trips and special projects like the bleachers are difficult to fund without taking more money directly from club members.

All groups that were told that they would receive money will get it, said Todd Cox, the SG adviser, but A&R will not be accepting any new funding requests.

Since the committee cannot take any more funding requests, it will spend the rest of the semester working on other elements of the A&R committee, including the application process for funding and the amounts of money that groups can receive, Parrott said.

“We’re going to possibly rewrite some of the funding requests and maybe tweak the amounts a little,” Parrott said. “I feel it might enable us to give more grants.”

Cox said that in a way, it is good that A&R allocated all of its money because it reflects the efforts of the senators this year.

“I think the reality is the Senate was very visible and very vocal about helping student organizations, so more students organizations came asking for money,” Cox said. “I think there were 60 to 80 groups that received some funding, and that’s a good number.”