By Charlotte Schofield
Fitchburg State organizations and clubs are facing budget concerns this year as new clubs are being created at a significant rate. With only about $300,000 to split between 88 clubs, many students and faculty are worried.
Hank Parkinson, associate dean of Student Development, has explained the process of how they choose to spend their student-funded budget. He says, “The selection process has two steps that requests must filter through: the student government and then the student senate. Even though there are $500,000 in requests, we actually only have around $360,000 in funding.” The university budgeting system determines what clubs usually need throughout the year and if they are on a “need-basis.”
Although SGA and the Office of Student Development are trying to stretch their money as far as they can, many students in clubs are forced to fund-raise the money they weren’t awarded. Alyce Almeida, president and coach of the Volleyball Club, is very concerned about how the season will go for her players. “Because we’re a brand new club on campus, we were given $300 from OSD to start ourselves off,” Almeida said. “However, the need for a net, new balls, travel fees, and court rental money is too expensive.” To raise funds, Coach Almeida and her fundraising committee have planned an annual Volleyball Wars tournament with Greek chapters on campus, using the entrance fees and any money made off of baked goods to pay for what they need. Although she worries that students might be put off from playing sports and joining clubs because of lack of funding, she said she is “more than happy to provide cool and interactive events to raise money and awareness for our club.”
SGA member Jess Greenbaum was able to comment on the matter and said, “Most clubs, I believe, got what they asked for [this year]. There were cuts made based off the recommendation of Fincom which I agreed with. [In order to stay realistic] we need to save money too if people need more during the year and what not.” Although this year money is tight for SGA, Greenbaum is confident with the appropriate cuts and believes that in the long run it’s the right choice.
But what about the newer clubs or organizations, those that don’t have as many members as Dance Club or FAB? With another year at Fitchburg in full swing, clubs on campus are going to have to get more creative to get those jerseys they’ve been needing or the money to travel to their competitions. Or they can take a chance and request money from SGA with a well thought-out budget plan and see if they approve it. Either way, good luck this year to all organizations in your endeavors! #FearTheFlock
The new volleyball club will have to do fundraising due to a low budget. (Photo by Vincent Tevnan)