SLF needs improvements to allocation processJan. 27, 2004
Student Body President Jeff Leach's comment in a recent Lariat article about Student Congress' $9,000 Beta Upsilon Chi allocation brought up a good point.
In Friday's article, Leach cited low student attendance at 'university-funded, campus wide' events and urged congress members at Thursday's meeting to create events that truly appeal to students.
'We are planning great events, but students aren't showing up,' Leach said. 'That's a problem.' And, he added, the ultimate result of this 'problem' could eventually involve the elimination of the Student Life Fund. We agree with Leach; too many 'all-university' events are being funded by the SLF that do not meet the requirements of benefiting a large number of students.
For instance, the article noted, Student Congress allocated $2,500 to a university wide prayer event last fall that only attracted five people. And, almost more disheartening than that, only 450 people showed up to the Interfraternity Council's Jack Ingram concert, an event funded in part by the largest allocation yet, $13,000.
The Lariat believes something must be done to change current trends in Student Life Fund allocation.
An initial answer to the predicament could be to stipulate that organizations must promise to attract a certain amount of people to their event. But this solution has countless problems.
The Lariat believes part of the beauty of the Student Life Fund is that any group, however big or small, can approach congress to receive funds. Small events, despite relatively low attendance, when added together, usually reach a large and diverse group of people. In turn, events that receive large congressional allocations must profit large numbers of students. Many big-name artists require expensive booking fees up front, and more and more groups are looking to the SLF to help fund these costs.
Student Congress might consider requiring groups to spend a certain percentage of their money on advertising the event or requirements for clubs to do specific tasks to promote their events.
Something must be done to ensure the SLF accomplishes its mission to benefit the entire student body. With the right improvements to its procedures, the SLF has the potential to continue to support many all-university events.