Mock Trial’s success could be abruptly halted without additional allocations.
Although the Temple Mock Trial team is expected to attend its first round of regional competitions later this winter, funding restraints may hinder its ability to attend the competition.
“Our chances of getting at least one team in the Top 8 are very good,” President Eric Horst, a senior economics and political science major, said.
“We’re feeling confident,” sophomore Taddeo Von Gleichen, an international business major, added.
But student organization allocations may not be enough to allow the team to attend necessary events.
Student organizations receive ratings of one to five stars, based on their number of events, level of participation and publicity and compliance with the Student Activities Office requirements.
One-star organizations receive up to $500 in semester allocations, while organizations with two stars or more are allowed a maximum of $2,500 per semester. Organizations request funds separately for each of their events.
TSG Allocations chair Mark Quien said his office has allocated more than half its budget this semester.
“There’s definitely more [organizations] applying, and there’s more different [organizations] applying,” Quien said. “More money is being used.”
Currently, Temple has more than 300 registered student organizations.
This year, TSG received approximately $123,000 for student organization allocations. Allocation money is a portion of the total account generated from the General Activities Fee included in students’ tuition payments. Last year, the number was $120,000, while the 2009-10 school year saw $100,000, Quien said.
“We’d like to fund more student organizations because they do some great events, and we feel we should give it to them because it is their money,” Quien said.
Quien said that among expenses like electronics, clothing and giveaway items, TSG will not cover out-of-state transportation costs.
Although Horst said the trial team tries to go to mostly local tournaments, its members have attended competitions as far away as upstate New York in the past.
A trip to Washington, Pa. cost the team upwards of $1,500 with the cost of rented cars and hotels, Horst said.
As of Dec. 1, $51,936.79 remained in TSG allocations, according to its website.
Most of the money Mock Trial receives is put toward registration fees, and to transportation costs.
“We got enough funding that covered the first invitational we went to in the fall,” Horst said.
Temple Mock Trial paid $500 to register its A and B teams, totaling 17 people, with the American Mock Trial Association, the governing body that oversees national collegiate competitions. Typically, the student organization pays between $300 and $400 in registration fees at individual invitational tournaments, with the cost for each team being around $100 to $200.
To attend an invitational at Swarthmore College in January, the organization will pay $250 for its two teams to attend.
Last year, Mock Trial paid $1,500 for one team to attend the Opening Round Championships in the nation’s capital, which Horst said did not include the $400 registration fee. He speculates this year the trip will cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 to send Temple’s A and B teams.
The group has begun appealing directly to the College of Liberal Arts, Fox School of Business, the College of Science and Technology, as well as the School of Communications and Theater. These are the schools that Mock Trial’s members populate.
“We’re just trying to secure more stable funding,” Horst said. “The team’s only five years old, so it’s hard to get alumni to help us because a lot of them are still in Law School.”
Cost is an issue for some team members like Kristin Antario.
“We go into these competitions for our own benefit. On an individual level, it’s hard to think [the university] is not going to reimburse us,” Antario, a junior criminal justice and philosophy major, said. “You wouldn’t see any of the sports teams paying their own way.”
Having existed for five years, Temple Mock Trial has established itself in what Horst considers “a fairly competitive region.”
At a recent invitational tournament at the University of Pennsylvania, one of Temple’s teams placed second out of 54 teams. Before that, one team placed first at the Founding Fathers Invitational at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.
The competitions fall on the weekend of Feb. 4, at the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center, after which the Top 8 of 30 schools will proceed to the Opening Round Championship Series in Washington, D.C.
Amelia Brust can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.