An FYI on funding: from student fees to SBC

Many students wonder where their money goes when they pay student fees, and surprisingly the money goes straight back to them.

The general fees paid at the beginning of every semester help to pay for student organizations’ fundraisers and activities throughout the year.

The Student Budget Committee is comprised of nine students and two co-chairs that help to distribute these funds back to the students.

Graduate Co-Chair Steve Lerer said that the people that form SBC represent different types of organizations on campus.

These students help distribute funds to the undergrad and graduate organizations in three ways, Lerer said.

The first way is the Annual Funding process, which takes place Feb. 8-10 and 15-17.

Undergraduate Co-Chair Shelly Adam said applications are due in January for Annual Funding in February.

Each organization creates a budget for the upcoming academic year and gives a presentation.

The level of funds are based on the quality of the presentation, Lerer said.

A well-rounded budget needs different funding ideas such as dues and activities, he said.

Lerer also said that SBC wants to see if the group is trying to find different ways of obtaining money.

If SBC rejects a request, groups are welcome to appeal and people can also request exemptions to polices.

Another method of distributing funding is a Spot Funding Session, which are held every two weeks.

Groups can request up to $1,000, and can make requests as many times as they want until funds run out.

SBC has a certain amount of money to distribute to organizations based on a portion of the student fee.

Spot Funding is determined by need and whether the program is beneficial to the campus.

On the Tuesdays when there is not a Spot Funding Session, there are help sessions available to help groups, Adam said.

These help sessions are available for groups to improve and SBC also explains funding.

The last way SBC distributes funds is by the Coca-Cola Funding.

Coca-Cola gives product and money to the campus to distribute every year.

SBC gives this money at Spot Funding Sessions.

Administration is not involved in distributing the money.

Lerer thinks this is a good idea because he thinks SBC has a better idea on what can help students on campus.

“Allowing students to decide how a portion of their fees is distributed is definitely beneficial to our campus community because the … students have a better concept of the types of programs that can help their community,” Lerer said.

There are only 11 people in SBC because it is difficult to make decisions if there is an even number, he said.

The nine people that represent SBC are from Bowling Green Student Development Association, Prairie Margins, Omega Phi Alpha and American Marketing Association.

Adam is in Omega Phi Alpha and she said that it helps her to see different organizations need and wants.

“Because I’m involved in different organizations, I think that I see what organizations need, different problems they have with fundraising and unforeseen expenses,” Adam said.

Lerer feels that his grad school education has helped him in many ways in SBC and learning about people.

“I’m learning about student development. I saw in the first month or two the numbers of the community develop before my eyes. I think my experience has been another affirmation that my choice of career is the right path for me” Lerer said.

Adam said that SBC is here to help out student organizations and they are there to help them.

“One thing is that we are here to help out the student organization and we have help sessions to prepare people for Spot Funding. So if an organization comes up with a new idea we are here to help,” Adam said.

Senior Melanie Walsh thinks it’s good that student fees are being used for student or organizations and the money is going back to the students.

“I think that it is a good thing that the money we pay in our student fees is being used for student organizations because we know exactly where our money is going,” Walsh said.

“It is nice to know that students’ money is basically going back to the students,” she said.