Budgetary Committee Tightens Funding Regulations
Issue   |   Wed, 09/30/2015 - 03:07

Since Sept. 16 the Association of Amherst Students Budgetary Committee has been enforcing stricter budgetary guidelines for clubs that request funding for their activities.

“There are really only three policy changes this year, and they’re all beneficial for the students,” said AAS Treasurer Paul Gramieri.

The AAS has changed funding guidelines for club transportation, limited funding for food and instituted a new event publicity requirement.

According to the updated regulations on the AAS website, organizations that travel more than four times a month will receive $500 in reimbursement each semester, while those that travel two to three times a month will be given $250 a semester. Clubs that travel less than once a month will not receive any funding, but they can request to access the AAS vans, free of charge.

Gramieri said that revisions to those regulations aimed to eliminate food waste and to reallocate money to fund student activities. Each semester, clubs will be allotted $50 for food for their introductory meeting, $50 for general meeting food and $200 for food at special events, such as cake for a cake decorating contest. Additionally, clubs can receive funding for sharing cultural food with the campus community and for hosting fundraising dinners.

The final change is that all AAS-funded events must be publicized. According to Gramieri, the AAS does not want to spend money on events that do not reach out to a meaningful portion of the student body. The AAS will provide $15 for every event clubs publicize. Clubs are required to put table tents in Valentine Dining Hall with this funding.

“I think funding for food, travel and publicizing is really crucial for clubs to get going and attract people to show up,” said Oscar Liu ’18, the AAS budgetary clerk.

In addition to these policy changes, the Budgetary Committee has also clarified funding deadlines. Funding requests for event supplies must be made at least one week prior to the event. Check request forms need at least two weeks for processing. If these deadlines are not observed, funding will be delayed or refused. Gramieri said that in the past, it was difficult to coordinate funding efforts when deadlines were forgotten or ignored.

Some student club leaders have been critical of the changes.

Gaby Mayer ’16, co-captain of the women’s ultimate Frisbee team, said that the current restrictions on AAS funding for transportation are too complicated, and that the team gets funding mainly only for participation in tournaments.

But opinion among club leaders is divided. Christine Croasdaile ’17, co-treasurer of the Black Students’ Union, said that the AAS “wants to ensure that their money is being used for the proper ways,” and that the change “allows us to think further ahead and to get things done.”