Allocation board caps student trip funding, uses OrgSync

Student organizations can utilize OrgSync to apply for student allocation funding. OrgSync, the new program the Office of Student Engagement uses, allows students to connect to their organizations through more effective communication.

The Student Allocation Review Board recently cut funding to finance student travel expenses, affecting organizations that use allocation money to voyage off campus throughout the year, according to officials.

Tammy Jacques, director of student engagement, said the decision to limit travel funding was made to encourage more student groups to organize programming on campus, rather than spend excess funds on events and activities outside UNA.

“We want to empower the students to do things for the campus community,” she said.

Travel funds were cut from $3,000 to $2,000 per registered student organization for the 2011-2012 year, said Jacques. In addition, students can request up to $4,000 in funding for events and various equipment.

UNA has approximately $133,000 available this year in student allocation funding, which students can begin applying for now and for the spring semester Nov. 1. Allocation funding requests are due by 4:30 p.m. each Friday, four committee meetings in advance of the proposed event or six meetings ahead of time if contractual agreements are involved.

Bishop Alexander, a graduate student and president of Kappa Sigma, works on the Student Allocation Committee this year and has applied for funding in the past for fraternity events he helped organize.

He also worked as SGA president three years ago and took part on the Student Allocation Review Board during that time. Jacques said the committee, which is composed of six students and one faculty member, meets weekly to review allocation requests and determine whether RSOs have met the criteria to receive funding.

“There are six people on the committee who are from all walks of life,” Alexander said. “You have a couple of residential students, a graduate student, someone from Greek life, someone from Res Life. The (committee) represents the entire campus. That way, any RSO will feel like their voice will be heard and there won’t be any bias.”

UNA recently launched OrgSync, a web-based management system that allows student groups, faculty, staff and other higher education officials to interact within one online community. Students who were trained in the allocation funding workshop can now request money electronically through OrgSync.

Allison Ray, who initiated the Student Multicultural Advisory Committee last year, receives funding for her organization through the Office of Student Engagement. She said she has worked closely with students in helping them construct proposals for allocation funding in the past.

“Student allocation funding is a huge opportunity for students to have an added resource for programming and for different things they’d like to see on campus,” she said. “It is a great opportunity for smaller organizations that don’t have that type of resource or student pool to raise as much money as bigger organizations.”

Ray said the decision to cut travel funding was likely difficult for the review board to make.

“I understand the thought behind it in trying to keep more programming on campus,” she said. “However, I do know the original purpose of travel allocation money was to give students the opportunity to go to conferences, go get training and bring it back to the university. Since they’re cutting (funding), you may see less of that.”

Allocating funding is generated each year through the student activity fee. Jacques said allocation funding allows students to see first-hand the fee coming back to them through various programs on campus.