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Monday, September 22, 2014

AFAB starts year with high demands of low money pool

Published November 29th, 2012

Sixty-five organizations on the UW-River Falls campus have applied for an annual budget with the Allocable Fees Appropriation Board (AFAB), but with a limit on funds, not all will be accepted.

“There was about $715,000 asked for,” said Kayla Edstrom, AFAB chair. “Last year we had a $250,000 limit and this coming year could be an even smaller amount.”

The budget AFAB is given for organizations on campus is based off of the University’s admissions numbers. This coming year the number of admissions is expected to be even lower than this year, which impacts the money made available for the 65 organizations that applied to receive money.

Organizations that wish to apply for an annual budget must have attended an annual budget training, which took place at the end of October. The annual budget requests were due Nov. 20 and the elimination process has already started.

Edstrom said that AFAB denies those forms that were turned in late and those that are unable to be funded due to certain circumstances. For example, if an organization applies for funding to be able to get equipment that will not stay on campus, that application will be cut.

“Generally speaking our first priority is on-campus activities,”  Edstrom said. “If an organization has events that will impact a number of students on campus, it is taken into consideration.”

With such a high amount being asked for and a limited budget, it’s a challenge for both AFAB and the organizations that apply for an annual budget. The Geological Society has had experience with applying for a budget in the past and also getting declined.

“The goal of our organization is to allow those interested in geology and the earth sciences, both majors and non-majors alike to be able to participate more in both in educational settings such as the speakers or in our geology field trips,” said Geological Society President Tammy Cook. “But it’s also in a fun setting where we watch movies, play games, and other smaller activities like fossil or mineral hunting.”

Last year the Geological Society applied for a $3,000 budget and was declined. This year, they lowered their requested amount to $2,000 in hopes for their events and activities to be covered.

“Our biggest goal is to get our public speakers funded. We would like to be able to cover the costs of transportation, room and to actually pay them to come in,” Cook said.

“Currently we are unable to do that and generally most speakers that come in from other schools or companies are paid for their time.”

Cook explained that the speakers they hope to get would be open to campus and they would like to also be able to fund a geology camping trip. The Geological Society also would like to be able get funding for a campus wide event such as showing a movie in the University Center or other small trips like to the Science Museum in St. Paul, Minn.
Starting in early December, there will be a hearing with 10 minute time slots where organizations can come forward to AFAB and explain the events they plan on doing for the year.

“We want them to tell us what their most important events are and why they feel their organization makes an impact on our community,” said Edstrom.

Once the hearings are over AFAB will have a budget deliberation in late January through early February 2013 and then present the initial budget request to Student Senate.

If Senate passes the initial budget request it will go to the chancellor and official allocation letters will be sent out to organizations by mid to late March.

If the Senate does not pass the initial budget request by AFAB, they will go into a second deliberation process and request the budget to Senate once again.

For some organizations such as the Dairy Club, they feel confident that they will receive their annual budget request or at least a portion of it.

The Dairy Club was established on campus in 1979 and is currently the largest student organization on the UWRF campus.

It also the largest dairy club in the nation. Kirsten Langrehr, president of the club, has been a part of the club all four years of her college career.

“This will be our fourth year applying for an annual budget and we have received budget money all four years,” Langrehr said. “Last year we applied for $30,00 and this year around $25,000.”

Langrehr explained that last year the Dairy Club received about a third of what they originally applied for. The Dairy Club assists with numerous educational events throughout the school year, which includes going on trips throughout the Midwest to gain network connections and expanding their knowledge of the industry.

She explained that the budget money would help pay for costs of buses and hotels for the trips as well as any registration fees to conferences.

Without the budget money Langrehr said that the members of Dairy Club would have to pay a lot more out of pocket to go on trips.

The budget that they received this year will help members that plan to attend a conference in Iowa by cutting down the cost.

They will pay around $75 to attend and without the budget money they would have had to pay over $200 to attend.

Without a budget both organizations said that they would have to rely on even more fundraisers and donations for events and activities.

“We’ll be relying on bake sales and due revenue and club members will have to pay more out of pocket on our events,” Cook said. “We’ve been making it the past few years, but at this point not getting a budget would be detrimental to the club.”

Cook said that the Geological Society already knows what they plan to present to AFAB at their hearing and she hopes that they will be able to get a budget this year.

Edstrom said its hard making the decision to cut certain budget applications and finding a balance that will keep AFAB within their own budget that is available to disperse.

“We will just have to work through things as they come up,” said Edstrom.

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