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AFAB constraints limit student organization funding

February 24, 2012

Student organizations at UW-River Falls are being limited because of budget constraints that the Allocable Fees Appropriation Board manages.

Some of the student organizations at UWRF, like the Men’s Lacrosse Club, have to juggle around canceled events because of budget restrictions. The AFAB chair, Ben Blanchard, described the situation that the board is dealing with when it comes to the funding for student organizations.

“The total proposed budget was just over $600,000 and based on our projections for next academic year, we will have a total of around $205,000 to give out to student orgs. So with our budget being over 300 percent of available funds, the AFAB had a lot to cut,” said Blanchard.

The maximum funding for an event a student organization can apply for is $1,500 if they are not recieving an annual budget. When an organization falls below this amount, AFAB will cut them completely.

“Cut completely means they were cut from the annual budget process and their requests were denied,” said Blanchard. “These orgs may still apply for up to $1,500 in single event funding.”

There were perimeters set by AFAB before their deliberations commenced. Things that AFAB decided that they could not fund anymore were things such as t-shirts, reducing travel by 50 percent, reducing student salaries by 50 percent, and cutting decorations and float supplies as outlined in the Wisconsin F50, the policy that AFAB follows to make their decisions.

“The AFAB did their best to keep organization priorities within their allotted budgets but there were times when these priorities conflicted with state policy,” Blanchard said.

The president of the School Counseling Student Association (SCSA), Josh Rutz, said that there were no budget cuts to the organization this year and he hopes that it stays that way. Otherwise, SCSA would not be able to hold as many activities as they do now.

“These activities allow our group to grow and allows all students to participate and be a part of something while being a student at UWRF. Our group also provides support to students. Cuts would have a big impact on our student group as well as all students,” Rutz said.

Kirk Ginley, the president of the Men’s Lacrosse Club at UWRF says that he is unaware of any budget cuts to the club, but if there were, existing as they do would become difficult.

“We have been used to making our dollar go the longest way possible in the past,” said Ginley. “In other words, our school allocated money is huge in making us be able to draw from students who have never tried before.”

Ginley explained that the equipment that the lacrosse club is using is pretty old and damaged. They are, however, able to buy two new nets that cost around $700 a piece for this year and hopefully two more next year.

Being able to purchase nets is not the only concern. In order to make sure students are interested in the sport, the club has “backup” equipment for the newcomers that is also a couple hundred dollars. The club has just added nine new students to the roster and also has potential students looking into playing on the team next year.

“We have a large turn around for new players and if we can get them to stay, our organization becomes higher on the priority of those allocating us money to give us more,” said Ginley.

The Men’s Lacrosse Club would be in trouble if AFAB cut their budget down. In order to prepare for that, they are looking into ways of fundraising money to add to the club needs.

“The leading idea we have is hosting a tournament here in River Falls at the beginning of the next school year. Other than this, we are still looking for ways to bring more money into our program,” Ginley said.