The Fall 2021 semester has brought major changes to the ways in which club finances are handled at The University of Hartford. Starting this year, the Student Government Association is no longer responsible for allocating the budgets of clubs and organizations on campus. Instead, that responsibility now falls on the Office of Student Engagement and Inclusion. This change was revealed to SGA President Valentina Jimenez during a meeting between the two organizations in late June
In previous years, SGA would meet to discuss the financial needs of each individual club and dole out funds accordingly. This budget allocation process took up roughly 65% of SGA’s time according to Valentina. Under OSEI, Club funding is now designated through the use of a four-tier system. As clubs advance through tiers, they will be granted certain privileges I.E. the ability to reserve meeting rooms, and permission to request funds to fulfill organizational needs. In order reach certain tiers, all members of their respective organizations must attend training seminars on topics like diversity and inclusion.
At the highest level, tier 4, an organization is able to request up to $1,600 in funding. This will be added on to any existing budgets that were allocated last spring. These changes will assist OSEI in their larger goal of eventually making all student organizations “self-funded”. In the future, student organizations will be expected to make ends meet through the use of fundraisers. The only groups exempt will be club sports which draw from a communal pool of money. According to OSEI, this move will make organizations on campus more independent and encourage self-sufficient behavior.
These changes along with OSEI’s plans moving forward were revealed to the student body in a joint organization meeting on Wednesday. Several student leaders have raised concerns following the meeting as they believe that the new system has put their clubs in Jeopardy. Although they were not available to comment this week, OSEI has agreed to an interview with STN before the September 24th newscast. STN’s full story including interviews with SGA President several student organization leaders can be seen below.