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Twelve organizations receive no funding from AFAB

April 4, 2013

Of the 68 UW-River Falls organizations that requested money from the Allocable Fees Appropriation Board (AFAB) this coming year, 12 of them did not receive any.

The AFAB chair, Kayla Edstrom, said that the reason different groups did not get money was because, “we don’t have the money to give to those groups.”

These groups include: Accounting Society, National Association for Music Education-Collegiate Chapter, Crop and Soil Club, Health and Physical Education Club, Math Club, National Band Association, Muggles United, Pre- Health, Pre-Pharmacy, Resource Management Club and UWRF Geology Society.

AFAB determines what groups get what amounts of money by having the board look at the proposed budgets with viewpoint neutrality and an open mind to what would best benefit students at UWRF. The source of this money they divide up each year is the fee students pay each semester with their tuition.

Edstrom said viewpoint neutrality means that her board has to “look at the organization as a single unit, and we cannot compare it to any other organization or compare it to itself in prior years. So we have to look at that organization in that instant.”

She admitted that this was sometimes difficult.

“It’s really hard to not think of the organization because you see them around campus,” she said.

Another aspect that the board looks at is how the money being applied to each group will impact the community of students that the money is taken from. Edstrom said more community focused, social proposals will be favored over proposals that will benefit a few students.

Even though board members try to keep an objective standpoint and try to evaluate what would be most beneficial to the student body as a whole, not receiving money in this process does impact clubs.

Catherine Queiser is the Minister of Magic, also known as president, of the Muggles United club on campus.

This is its first year as an “up and running” club and its first time asking for money from AFAB, Queiser said.

The club wanted to apply the event money to different activities like Wizard’s Chess, a Yule Ball, a Tri-wizard Tournament and a movie night.

“For a lot of them, we were trying to put them as charity events,” she said describing how Muggles United wanted to incorporate a book drive in with Wizard’s Chess and a toy drive potentially with the Yule Ball.

Since it did not receive funds to support these ideas, Queiser said it will continue its bake sales to support Wizard’s Chess, and apply for a budget again next year.

“Maybe someday we’ll end up with a budget,” she laughed.

Another group that did not receive funding was the Resource Management Club, lead by President Danielle Peterson.

“It would have been helpful to get [a budget] just because we’ve been trying to start a firefighter crew,” she said.

This would be a chance for students to attend a class three hours away in Stevens Point that would train them how to fight fires in different wilderness environments, a job that is in high demand right now, Peterson said.

“River Falls is actually known as the third school for conservation so it’s a pretty big thing for students who are conservation majors,” she said. “It’s extremely important that we get our students out and about getting the experience they need.”

She said the club helps students build their skills, allows for them to make professional connections and makes it easier for them to attend classes like the one in Stevens Point with people they know.

Now if students choose to take that class in Stevens Point, they will be responsible for gas cost to get there, food, board and their $100 plus registration fee, said Peterson. If its budget had been supported by AFAB, it would have alleviated some of that cost.

“Money is a huge thing and that’s why I understand why budgets got cut this year, but it hurts everybody’s pocket,” Peterson said.

When the budget season started, Paul Shepherd, the director of Student Life and a faculty advisor for AFAB, predicted the upcoming cuts when he said, “more orgs know about it [AFAB] which is good, but it’s difficult.”

Edstrom said the budget that AFAB has made will go before Student Senate to be approved during its weekly meeting at 7 p.m. on April 9, in the Willow River Room in the University Center.