Allocations process confusing for some orgs

Leaders of IgniteTU, the ticket that won the Temple Student Government executive election last Friday and will represent the student body for the 2018-19 academic year, said they will fix the allocations process, which some student organizations find confusing.

Allocations are the funding TSG distributes to organizations to host events and purchase necessary supplies.

For the 2017-18 academic year, the Allocations Committee was tasked with managing $140,000 to give to student organizations. This money comes from the General Activities fee that all undergraduates pay each semester.

It is allocated by the university after TSG’s allocations chairs request university funding during the summer, The Temple News reported in September.

IgniteTU will make accessing allocations easier for organizations by eliminating General Assembly meetings, which as of now organization leaders must attend to be eligible to receive allocations. Attending these weekly meetings can be difficult for small organizations that have fewer members, the team said.

“We want to get rid of those [General Assembly meetings],” TSG President-elect Gadi Zimmerman said. “Some small organizations don’t even know what allocations are, and if they miss more than three meetings, they become ineligible. This is money that could really benefit them.”

Co-chairs of the Allocations Committee Dave Drennan and Charlotte Myer said they have received feedback from student organizations that the application process to request allocations is confusing.

“People don’t always understand the process,” said Drennan, a senior economics major. “Whenever someone has questions, we tell them to come meet with us. We try to make ourselves as available as possible.”

Camila Delgado, a junior political science major and treasurer of Phi Sigma Pi, a co-ed honors fraternity that uses allocations to attend a national conference, said it is difficult to find the necessary information and forms to apply for allocations.

“It shouldn’t be this difficult,” Delgado said. “I’ve even searched ‘allocations’ on OwlConnect and been on the TSG website, and I can’t find anything.”

She said the process is especially concerning because she needs to request a specific amount, but that amount cannot be determined until she knows how much the committee is able to give toward their national conference.

“The cost depends on the amount of people we send, because allocations covers our registration,” Delgado added. “How many people we’re able to send depends on how much money they can give us.”

Currently, in order to apply for allocations, an organization must follow four steps:

  1. Submit a purchase request on OwlConnect at least three Mondays before an event
  2. Wait for the allocations committee to approve or deny funding
  3. Make changes to the application based on feedback from allocations committee if applicable
  4. Wait for the committee to approve or deny funding after edits are made

In applying, organizations can only request funding for daily operations, travel expenses, conference or competition attendance and for events, which have to be “open and advertised” to the entire student body in order to receive funding.

Organizations must make sure they do not ask for more than their organization’s allotted allocation amount or request funding to be used for giveaways, salaries, fundraisers or “luxury items,” like promotional T-shirts.

Organizations must also submit relevant documents with each purchase request, which can include invoices for supplies, professional service agreement forms with external vendors and conference registration forms.

Drennan and Myer said the only alteration they made to the allocations guidelines this academic year was incorporating a purchase request spreadsheet to make the allocations process more organized.

They said they did not make more changes because alterations can make the process more confusing.

“We want to make sure the student [organizations] don’t have to grapple with anything too new,” said Myer, a senior political science major. “Any kind of jarring changes can really throw [organizations] off, and it can be a problem.”

Drennan and Myer said they will edit guidelines and offer the edits to incoming Allocations Committee chairs as suggestions.

“Once we’re out, we’re out,” Drennan said. “Our biggest goal with allocations is a smooth transition from year to year. We want to provide solid feedback going forward, because that’s not really something we can say we got coming in.”

IgniteTU has not yet appointed Allocations Committee chairs for the 2018-19 academic year.

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