Go Fund Us

For many Georgetown student organizations, the Council of Advisory Boards is synonymous with funding. In reality, CAB, which mediates dialogue between the six undergraduate advisory boards, is not directly involved in the allocation of funds. That being said, much of the recent dialogue mediated by CAB between the different undergraduate advisory boards has concerned the weakness of the 2016 Finance and Appropriations budget, which allocates funding to the advisory boards, and how it has negatively affected them. These effects have been felt by members of Georgetown’s student organizations, who rarely find student-group funding sufficient.

The Fin/App Committee is composed of elected members of the Georgetown University Student Association senate who serve as liaisons between Fin/App and a single advisory board. Often, Fin/App funding decisions are made with lack of understanding. The current process is inadequate; student club funding must be reorganized.

For one, student groups could launch their own initiatives by appealing to their own alumni for funds. Organization-specific fundraising campaigns would allow Georgetown alumni to personalize their contributions to the university while eschewing the oft-cited headache of bureaucratic courtship for group leaders. Drawing investment from former members would strengthen a group’s alumni network, instilling current members with a deeper sense of tradition and continuity. While this is currently possible, the advisory boards should more actively encourage student groups to embark on these campaigns in lieu of traditional funding.

In addition to creating a new source of funding, the existing system should be reformed. A tenable option, and one that may supplement the recommendation above, is to fulfill the campaign goal of many GUSA candidates and expand the allocation of tuition expenses to the student activities fee. This fee is currently the main source of funding for student groups. Set against Georgetown’s undergraduate tuition, such a reallocation would be negligible — perhaps $50 per student would be sufficient. Yet, given the invaluable role that extracurricular activities play in the lives of so many Georgetown students, a small adjustment would produce tremendous results.

Student-group funding allocation needs reorganization. Whether this involves organization-specific fundraising campaigns to complement Fin/App’s governance or a fee increase, the student activities fee is up to students. But for the sake of Georgetown’s student groups, a more effective budgetary system must be a priority.

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  1. informed outsider says:

    groups asked for a total of $2 million from GUSA. GUSA only had $1 million to give out. this is why the budget was weak. cab representatives on GUSA will not change this.

  2. The allocable student activities fee went from $50 in 2010 and before to $150 now (with yearly index to inflation, so it may be slightly higher) — which means GUSA went from allocating around $400K a year to about $1.1M. Suffice it to say, back when GUSAhad $400K to allocate, groups would propose aggregate budgets of $500-600K and complain they were shortchanged. Now that seems to have raised to $2M under half a decade.

    Perhaps there are many more groups now than five years ago. But I think if you took a critical look at the $2M in funding requests, you would find quite a bit of fat that could be trimmed with little cost to students.

    Believe me, if GUSA began allocating $2M, wait another year or two and you’d have an article complaining about how groups have requested $3M in total and that student life is being underfunded.

  3. A better way for allocating the student fee is discussed here . . .

    “A Proposal to Reform the Student Activities Funding Process


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