By Katrina Streeter, Staff Writer

Darrian Church, Student Senator

Darrian Church, Secretary of Student Senate and Public Relations Committee Chair
(Courtesy of Joseph Arsenault)

    With the beginning of November came a few very important changes to policies for clubs and organizations—the most controversial being a mandatory quota of fundraised money.
Nov. 1, 2012 was the beginning date for a policy that requires all clubs and organizations to fundraise 10 percent of their budget each year. This year, clubs will only be responsible for fundraising 5 percent of their budget, but next academic year they will have to raise the full 10 percent.
For example, a club with a $12,000 dollar budget would be responsible (after this year) for fundraising 10 percent of those funds, or $1,200. If said club were to raise only $1,000 they would only be eligible to propose a budget of $10,000 that year.
“Our general pool of funds is getting smaller and smaller,” said Secretary of Student Senate and Public Relations Committee Chair, Darrian Church. She believes this will put a cap on budget requests.
Students should also consider the possibilities this policy will open up for clubs and organizations.
Whatever clubs fundraise is their money, Church explained. “They can do essentially what they want to with that fundraising money,” she said.
Some students agree that this policy change could be beneficial for clubs and organizations.
“I think it’s strong. It makes groups have to be more involved in the community instead of just being able to run as an organization,” said Dan Giroux-Pare, a junior. “For example, if CRC were to not fundraise and therefore not get their name out there, they shouldn’t be allowed all of the money they would normally get from working hard.”
However, there are quite a few students who seem outraged by the new policy. “It’s really difficult to raise that much money,” said sophomore and WUMF president, Michael Diffin. “Asking that much from college students with college budgets—students that already pay a student activity fee! That is asking a lot from the student body.”
Some students are nervous that this policy change will affect the amount of clubs UMF will have to offer in the future. “I totally understand why they’re doing it, but I don’t agree because pretty soon most clubs are not going to be able to raise that money,” said sophomore, Liz Robinson. “If they don’t raise the ten percent…What are they going to do? Are we going to have clubs in the future?”
“That is a big chunk of change there,” said volunteer coach for the Ultimate team, Derek Wyman. “I honestly feel like a lot of clubs are going to struggle to make their 5 percent this year and they’ll struggle a lot more to make the 10 percent next year.”
Wyman started participating with the Ultimate Club five years ago. “Honestly the Ultimate Disc Club shouldn’t have that much of a problem. If we sell discs this year we shouldn’t have a problem making the five-hundred-ish dollars this year. Ten bucks per disc and sell fifty of them,” he said, “but in the past years we used to do a lot more fundraising and 10 percent still seems like a lot.”
Another big policy change Senate has put into place is the removal of the media fund. Instead of keeping a fund specifically for WUMF, Writer’s Guild, Film Club and Journalism Club to take money out of when necessary, Senate is moving the approximately $50k fund into Senate’s general account.
It was something that was sort of becoming a headache, said Church. “If WUMF needed to buy something, instead of them getting a proposal from Senate, they would go to the media fund.” This only created another step, as the proposal would still have to pass through Senate before the purchase could be made.
Diffin said this policy change disturbs him. “Getting rid of the media fund as a whole, because that still effects our budget, was unfortunate and is still going to hurt us. The media fund saved us last year when we were without an emergency broadcasting system,” said Diffin. “I don’t know what we would do if it went down again this year because it’s a federal offense to run without one…We have standards. I’m partial to broadcasting legally.”
Senate has a couple smaller changes to the policy for clubs and organizations. When going on trips or to conferences, financial policies used to require clubs to specify how much money they were to allocate for different things such as travel, registration and lodging. This policy has been changed so that all of these fees are combined.
“We can give them up to $400 for those fees, but they won’t be specified anymore. This will give clubs more flexibility,” said Church.
Lastly, Senate has removed a section completely stating how much a club is allowed to spend on the university credit card.
“We’re not saying ‘Here’s a credit card- go buy everything.’ It’s just going to help with buying online purchases,” said Church.