The Student Federation has $26,000 available this year to give to clubs and organizations — all clubs need to do is submit a proposal.
The process of claiming funds begins when a member of a club contacts the Student Fed treasurer by email to obtain a spending proposal form. After the initial proposal is submitted, a club representative meets with the Student Fed finance committee to refine and specify their request before it moves to a vote by the entire Federation.
“If the proposal receives the recommendation of the Finance Committee, which almost every proposal does, then the applying club has an opportunity to present before the student Federation,” said junior Brandt Siegfried, an independent representative who has served on both the finance and club oversight committees during his three years on the federation. “And then if the club’s answers and the proposal seem satisfactory, the federation will approve it.”
Siegfried said that the best proposals are the ones with itemized estimates backed by research and supplemented with fundraising from the club. The federation money fills in the gaps in the club’s fundraising. Proposals that need the most work aren’t as transparent in what the club needs funding for.
Federation treasurer senior Austin Mock, who chairs the finance committee, laid out three things clubs should do when asking for money.
“First, demonstrate that they’ve explored alternate fundraising options; second, stay in close communication with the treasurer and the president during the process; and third, practice and deliver an informed and polished presentation,” Mock said. “Assuming they aren’t asking for an inordinate amount of money, clubs who do those three things will generally be successful with both the finance committee and the Fed at large.”
Additionally, those presenting a proposal should be open to changes.
“The number one thing that will stop your proposal from passing is if it is prepared hastily without thought,” Siegfried said. “You have to be very willing to work with the finance committee to make it work. The feedback from the finance committee is to make the proposal as strong as possible before going before the full Federation. The finance committee is not a barrier to funding proposals.”
Ultimately, the Federation exists to help student groups, not hinder them.
“We’re always eager to see new student organizations popping up on campus, and we want to use the money that comes from student fees to serve campus better,” said President Sean Collins. “The Fed is positively disposed to giving money, as long as we know why the money is needed and what it will be used for.”