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Student Government column

Aside from our academic lives, the Carnegie Mellon experience is heavily impacted by the presence of student groups on campus, mainly in the form of student organizations. From club soccer to engineering societies to eSports to ballroom dance, one of the proud attributes of the Carnegie Mellon community lies in the diversity of its student organizations. As such, the financing of these organizations, providing each with the necessary funds to operate and to thrive, is a topic that is vital to maintaining the large variety of student activities on campus.

To support our student organizations, there exist numerous funding sources on campus that allow organizations to gather the necessary funds to operate, to travel to tournaments or competitions, to host an event at Carnegie Mellon, or to engage in an initiative. These funding sources include the Undergraduate Senate, Graduate Student Assembly, Department of Student Affairs, Joint Funding Committee (JFC), Student Dormitory Council, and the Student Body Vice President for Organizations. Each source maintains its own funding philosophy and prefers to fund initiatives and organizations with respect to its own rules. In this student government column, I would like to briefly address and to inform the student body regarding one of the most popular mid-year funding sources: special allocations from the Undergraduate Senate.

The Undergraduate Senate receives its budget from a portion of the student activities fee, a cost that every student pays as a part of their enrollment. Since the Senate allocates funds using the student activities fee, our funding philosophy primarily focuses on the accessibility of the proposed event, initiative, or organization. In other words, the Senate prefers to fund proposals that are accessible to every undergraduate regardless of their academic standing, grade, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religious or political beliefs.

Furthermore, we also consider the undergraduate benefit of the proposal. Typically, after carefully reviewing each funding application, the Undergraduate Finance Committee discusses and debates the benefit or impact that such proposal will bring to the student body. Thus, the Senate prefers to allocate funds to events and initiatives that provide benefits to large portions of the student body.

On top of this, as a mid-year funding source, the Senate is committed to funding unexpected costs, new organizations and initiatives, and organizations that were not JFC-funded the previous year. In essence, while the JFC funds in bulk on an annual basis for the upcoming academic year, the Senate and the various other funding sources listed above exist to help organizations get through the year in situations in which organizations face costs that were not planned last year in their JFC budget.

To apply for special allocations funding, log on to The Bridge and click “Common Funding Application” on the bottom right corner of the website, under “Campus Links.” Here, organizations can submit a common application to the various funding sources listed above. It is inevitable that organizations encounter unexpected costs throughout the year, and we are here to help you have a successful one. For any further questions about Senate Finance or special allocations, please contact senate-finance@andrew.cmu.edu.

Editor’s Note: Juhyung Park is the Assistant Copy Manager for The Tartan.