Organizations requesting funding from Temple University’s student government may have to wait months to receive the money, according to officials in several student groups.
Under TSG budget allocation guidelines, registered Temple student organizations can apply for up to $3,000 per year to help fund events and activities.
But some organization leaders say the process is time-consuming and often frustrating.
“TSG can be very hard to deal with,” said Christina Molieri, president of Temple’s Lambda Alliance.
“You’ve got to work with all kinds of bureaucracy to get funding.”
Molieri said that an initial funding request for an October event featuring poet Alix Olson was returned due to procedural errors that Lambda made.
Lambda then attempted to reach TSG Treasurer Andrea Ray to correct these problems, but found it difficult to reach her.
“She’s very hard to get in touch with,” said Lambda Treasurer Jon Panofsky.
“I went to see her during her office hours but she was never around.”
Panofsky said he left several notes in Ray’s office mailbox, but was only able to meet with Ray and resolve the issue several months after the initial funding request.
Meanwhile, over a thousand dollars in expenses for the Alix Olson event went onto Molieri’s credit card.
“I can’t afford to be paying for these expenses,” said Molieri.
“I need to be able to eat and pay rent… We finally got our expenses taken care of, but we shouldn’t have to go through this kind of trouble.”
Ray said that she never received written messages from Panofsky, and criticized Lambda for not trying to reach her by telephone or e-mail.
“They could have left me messages on my voice mail or e-mail,” she said.
“That’s what those things are there for.”
Ray also said that she had extended the deadline for Lambda to get their expense request in because she understood they were in debt.
Other organizations say they have experienced similar difficulties.
Muslim Student Association Treasurer Mubeen Husain said that an event funding request submitted in January has yet to be processed.
“We’ll need to hold a fundraiser to come up with the money,” said Husain.
“We submitted the request at the beginning of the semester and now it’s April and there’s still no word.”
Quincy Dews, operating manager for Temple’s student-run WHIP radio, said in the past, the radio station has put in funding requests at the beginning of a semester which have not been processed until the end of that semester.
“WHIP is run like a business, and we’ve got investors,” said Dews.
“So for us getting money from TSG is a boost, but we can still run our programs without it. But if you don’t have other sources of funding you’ve got problems.”
Dews added that he doesn’t blame TSG for these difficulties.
“They’re pretty busy over there,” he said.
TSG officers admitted the funding process can be lengthy.
After submitting a request for funding, organizations must schedule a meeting with TSG’s Allocations Board, followed by a final review at a General Assembly meeting two weeks later.
If funding is approved, the request is sent to the University’s Accounts Payable department for a check to be cut.
But the officers also insisted that organizations should not rely solely on TSG funds.
“Getting money can be a long process,” said Ray.
“But that’s why we tell organizations they need to have alternate sources of funding. TSG funds aren’t meant to cover 100 percent of your expenses. They’re only meant as a supplement.”
TSG officials blamed some delays on errors organizations make when requesting funds.
“A lot of student groups don’t bother to read the allocations guidelines,” said Speaker of the TSG General Assembly Bryan Carter.
“So it cuts both ways.”
Dean of Students James Fitzsimmons said funding delays could not be blamed on any one part of the system.
“Some of it is caused by student groups not paying attention to details, some of it is caused by inefficiency on the part of TSG, and some of it is caused by the inefficiency of the University in processing checks,” he said.
Fitzsimmons added he was confident TSG was making “an honest effort to process requests in a timely fashion” despite some efficiency problems.
Jerome Montes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.