UWO clubs, organizations push to get student allocation funding

Bailey McClellan

UW Oshkosh clubs and organizations look to secure funding for the 2019-20 academic school year.

The deadline to submit funding applications for clubs and organizations is Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.

Funding is granted on a yearly basis through the Student Allocations Committee, a student-run committee dedicated to the distribution of allocable segregated fees to student clubs and organizations recognized by the Oshkosh Student Association.

Gail Goodacre, president of the UWO Student National Association of Teachers of Singing, said a lot of preparation goes into getting approved for funding.

“You first need to be registered and approved through OSA,” Goodacre said. “There then is a training conducted by OSA that a representative from your organization needs to attend. This year’s just happened about two weeks ago. At this meeting you are guided through the process and given materials to help you with writing your budget. After you finish writing your budget, you need to submit it to OSA for approval.”

SAC Controller Leo Spanuello said the time this process takes can vary between organizations.

“The amount of time depends on the size of the organization,” Spanuello said. “Many clubs have gone through the process multiple times and can easily change their budget from the previous year. The approval process happens between November and December, and clubs are notified in March.”

Reeve Union Board Budget Manager Haley Teniente said renewing the organization’s budget from year to year is more tedious than it is difficult.

“Given that OSA has a specific budget format they’d like organizations to use is very standard and easy to read and enter information, it’s just taking the time to re-enter the numbers and updating a few things here and there that make the application challenging,” Teniente said.

Clare Hietpas, Interactive Web Management Club president, who is working on applying for funding through the SAC for the first time, said navigating the process without experience requires care.

“I am currently getting help on the process since we have never gone through it before,” Hietpas said. “I think the most challenging part is that, since we have never done it before, I’m working hard to make sure I go through the process right.”

Spanuello said all OSA-recognized organizations are eligible to receive funding.

“SAC does not deny funding to any organizations that follow the guidelines established by OSA and the policy and procedure manual,” Spanuello said. “It is only when the group does not follow the guidelines or [is] not open to all students.”

Goodacre said a major challenge for organization leaders that are new to this process is getting used to these guidelines.

“Writing the budget does take a fair amount of time,” Goodacre said. “There are a lot of guidelines and rules for allocated funds that make it challenging for a new budget writer.”

One of these guidelines, which are outlined in the 2018 SAC policies and procedure manual, requires that funding for food at regular meetings be limited to two meetings a year with a maximum cost of $5 per person. Another guideline prohibits the use of funds to purchase clothing for advertising purposes. The complete manual can be found online at the SAC website.

Spanuello said any students who are intimidated by the process can reach out to SAC for guidance.

“The best step for an organization to have a smooth budgeting process is to seek direct advice from SAC through the chair and controller,” Spanuello said. “Both myself and the chair meet with organizations frequently and help them throughout the process.”

After being approved for funding, organization leaders must stop in at the OSA office to make purchases using the office credit card or to seek reimbursement for purchases.

Goodacre said making time to stop in during these hours can be difficult.

“I, like many other students, have very busy days,” Goodacre said “I find it a huge challenge to make it to the office during open hours so I can use the school credit card to use funds. It would be much easier for me if there were a way to work on these things in the evenings when I have more time. It would be more convenient if these funds could be transferred into the organization’s bank account.”

Goodacre said despite the challenges, University staff work hard to help accommodate the needs of students and organizations.

“Our organization depends on funds to send our members to conferences and competitions and to bring in guests to give lectures and master classes,” Goodacre said. “It is a big process, but the good thing is that the people in the OSA office are willing to meet with you and help you through it.”

Teniente said funding is important to student organizations because it allows them to provide opportunities to students that work to enrich the UWO community.

“Receiving the funds is crucial for RUB, because without it, we are not able to entertain, engage and involve the students here at UWO,” Teniente said. “We not only give students weekly entertainment, we give them college memories. The funding that goes to RUB is not for our organization; it goes right back to the students.”