New semester calls for budgeting, proposals and timeliness for remaining student activity fee money.
By Tress-Marie Landa
The Student Activity Fee Committee Dec. 3 awarded $13,682 to three clubs and organizations to attend conventions, conferences and competitions in the spring.
Mark Bigelow, student success coordinator and committee member, said the remaining balance for funding is $31,000 for the 2015-16 academic school year and has to last through the spring.
Each club or organization had an adviser or a member explain what the money would be used for and how it would benefit them and this college.
The committee approved $8,700 for Enactus, a community outreach club that is part of a global nonprofit.
“We do projects to help the lives of others, new business startups; we help refugees and help the community,” said Charles Hunt, business management professor and Enactus adviser.
Hunt said the club sought funding to go to a regional competition in Dallas. If they win, they would need funding for national as well.
The nationals’ competition will be in St. Louis. The national champion will go on to an international competition against other Enactus teams.
The competition requires Enactus clubs to come up with an innovative project that makes a difference. Each team takes pictures of what they’ve done, documents it and puts together a presentation of 20-25 minutes including a Q & A.
Laurie Coleman, English professor and committee member, asked if participation would be beneficial if the club does not win.
“Yes, it would,” Hunt said. “The first five-six years we didn’t know what it was about. It took awhile for us to make it to national.”
Last semester the club built a hydroponic system. They planted organic fruits and vegetables and taught the community about it.
“We could have a farmers market on campus,” Hunt said.
Six students would attend the competition and share two hotel rooms; Hunt would have his own room.
Bigelow said the district is currently working on a formal policy on student traveling.
Coleman said the Enactus club has participated in every fundraiser this semester but has not contributed to the student activity fee request and they could apply the fundraising money to the trip.
The Social Work Club received $4,446 to attend the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Conference.
Beatrix Perez, Social Work Club adviser, said she, would attend the event with sociology professor Lisa Black and six students. The event is March 30-April 3 in Dallas.
“It is geared for faculty and students to have sessions of training for professional identity, advocacy and cultural competence,” Perez said.
There will also be presentations on the profession’s ethical code of conduct and building their social work identity, she said. “Learning about the career field and meeting with four-year institutions geared towards social work will really benefit the students,” Perez said.
Perez said she and Black would pay their own conference fees, but the student fee is $155 per person. The recommended hotel would be $129 per night, plus the cost of renting an eight-passenger van.
The Social Work Club still has a few months to fundraise for the trip, Perez said.
The Gay, Ally and Lesbian Alliance received $536 to cover additional charges for eight members to attend the Creating Change Conference in Chicago Jan. 21-24.
Jami Keeton, liberal arts major and GALA member, said the club, which paid $1,000 of its own money for the conference, had already received $4,500 from the committee in August. However, the rates for the convention changed, and charges went about $530.
Bigelow said the committee’s next meeting will be Feb. 4.
The Society for Physics Students asked for funds to attend the American Astronomical Society Convention in Kissimmee, Fla. The convention is Jan. 4-8. The committee denied the application because of the close timing and approvals required through the college.
Scott Meyer, general science sophomore and vice president of SPS, said this kind of event can propel a student’s career in physics and give them an opportunity to meet with representatives from universities.
“A student from this college who attended this convention went on to transfer to Yale due to what he learned and who he met,” Meyer said.
The cost of a room per night would be $231 at the conference’s hotel. Four members of the club will attend and pay for their own registration, which is $229 a person.
Alfred Alaniz, astronomy professor and SPS adviser, said the club has participated in fundraising throughout the semester and are close to $400, but the trip including room and board would be about $2,400.
Laurie Coleman, English professor and committee member, suggested booking a cheaper hotel and using the money for the commute to the convention.
“It’s wonderful the club is so engaged outside the classroom, but we have to consider the budget and the timing,” Coleman said.
The cost could be a big loss if they were not able to make it for any reason and they have to ration the funding for other clubs seeking help.