After much planning and deliberation, the Augustana Student Association (ASA) voted to officially amend its constitution. The vote, which occurred online Friday, March 7, enacted several new measures related to how the school will fund student groups on campus.
Prior to the change, student groups would receive a lump sum at the beginning of each academic year. Under the new guidelines, ASA will maintain tighter control over the school coffers. Each student group will receive an annual $150 “kickstarter,” with ASA allocating all remaining funds on an event-by-event basis.
Student leaders, meanwhile, may apply for additional money through both the Community and Service Development Funds.
The Service Development Fund, or SDF, allows student groups to earn up to $1500 per year contingent upon their community service record. Applications for both the CDF and SDF must be preapproved by ASA. Service projects must be authorized by S.A.L.T. advisor Julie Danielson.
Ideally, this will give ASA more capital to utilize throughout the year on projects that would otherwise require financial assistance from the school administration, according to senior ASA treasurer Seth Vogelsang.
“Not having the money should not be the concern,” Vogelsang said. “It should be: we have the money, let’s make it happen.”
Moreover, it prevents surplus money from sitting in the accounts of inactive student groups.
“If there’s more money in the pot, more groups can reach in it,” Vogelsang said.
ASA also reduced the amount of time necessary for a student group to be considered “defunct.” Now, if club or organization has been inactive for more than 18 months—the previous cutoff was five years—their charter will be revoked and money reallocated.
However, Vogelsang also noted that reinstating a disbanded group would be a relatively simple process.
Overall, Vogelsang envisions these renovations as an outline for how ASA will budget in the future.
“I think the concepts are set in stone, but precise numbers may fluctuate,” Vogelsang said.
According to Vogelsang, student leaders have generally favored the changes.
Junior Jordan Dobrowski, co-president of the Augustana Anthropology Club, acknowledges that the changes may present disproportionate difficulties for certain groups.
“I think the change is reasonable,” Dobrowski said. “Obviously it makes more sense for the money to flow to the more active groups than to sit in stagnant accounts. Nevertheless, it risks a bias in favor of the larger groups on campus and sets a handicap for new, smaller groups.”
Junior Katelynn Kenney, the artistic director of the Augustana College Theatrical Society (ACTS)believes in their long term benefits.
“This will work better for a lot of other groups and I think it will work well for ACTS so long as ASA is willing to work with our needs,” she said. “And they have so far.”