The University of Michigan Central Student Government convened Tuesday evening in a hybrid format and discussed funding for a student organization cookout event.
Public Policy junior Ayden Makar, chair of Student Organization Funding Committee (SOFC), described the ways SOFC can assist student organizations on campus. Serving around 1600 student organizations at the University, the SOFC can provide up to $10,000 in funds per organization each semester.
“We’ve already had 146 applications as of Monday, pulling around $200,000 requests so far,” Makar said.
Makar said SOFC can be useful to student organizations in a time of inflation and rising prices.
“Things are a lot more expensive than they were a couple years ago, so there’s a heavier financial burden on student organizations for themselves engaged in their own missions,” Makar said. “So SOFC is a really strong resource on campus that organizations use.”
Makar said the committee has simplified the approval and funding process, allowing organizations to receive funds more quickly.
“This used to be a really long process,” Makar said. “It was a three-week period from application submission to the (student account) deposit, but now we can get this done in about a matter of three days,”
The assembly then discussed Engineering junior Maria Fields’ resolution for a student organization cross-cultural event. Fields’ proposal included compensating organizations for their participation in the event. LSA junior Olivia O’Connell, Communications Committee member, said an assembly member took issue with the fact that there is little precedent for giving student organizations money in this way.
Fields said she is willing to work with less money as long as the student organizations attending the event are compensated for their time.
“Figuring out how to pay the student (organizations) is really all I care about; the catering I would just have to figure out,” Fields said. “$100 per organization would be nice, but I guess $50 is cool.”
Fields said she tried contacting SOFC and the Executive Committee for funding, but neither was able to provide the funds. SOFC operates on a reimbursement basis, meaning Fields would need to pay the organizations first and be compensated later. Fields said the Executive Committee cannot pay student organizations directly, so any funds they provided would have to support these organizations with catering or other planning and event expenses.
“The money is going to be well spent regardless because it’s gonna go into identity and affinity-based organizations; we were supporting underrepresented students,” Fields said.
LSA junior Jarek Schmanski then proposed an amendment to the resolution, allocating $2000 of CSG’s budget to funding for student organizations.
The resolution passed with 13 ‘Yes’ votes and five ‘No’ votes.
Public Health junior Aarushi Ganguly said she believes Fields’ resolution will go a long way toward supporting diversity, equity and inclusion.
“I am looking around and, as a person of Color, I don’t see a lot of diversity in assembly,” Ganguly said. “I think this is one step that has been long missing from our work that we do, and I’m glad that we spent this money.”
Social Work student Matt Dargay said he believes Fields’ proposal will greatly improve CSG’s image and set the precedent of supporting underrepresented students.
“We can further build on Maria’s efforts by ourselves attending this event if we can associate CSG with DEI so that people from backgrounds that are often underrepresented in the assembly can rest assured that CSG is an ally of theirs,” Dargay said.
Correction 10/5: A previous version of this article listed 19 “yes” votes and four “no” votes. This article has been updated to reflect the correct 13-5 vote count.
Daily Staff Reporter Joey Lin can be reached at email@example.com.
Daily News Contributor Nadia Taeckens contributed to the reporting of this article.