Clubs should apply for student activities funds soon

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Remaining funds for student travel and activities are limited.

By James Dusek

Organizations planning on applying for funds from the student activities fund should do so sooner rather than later, Mark Bigelow, interim director of student life, said.

In a meeting with about 40 faculty club advisers Jan. 12 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center, Bigelow said the student activities fund is beginning to run low — down to about $15,000.

Bigelow said at the beginning of the fall semester, the fund had $52,000.

The fund is used for club activities such as sending students to conferences and competitions.

Allocations of the student activities fund are decided monthly. This semester’s deadlines for applications are Feb. 23, March 30 and April 27.

Despite the dwindling money, Bigelow is not too worried about clubs not having access to necessary funding.

“Somehow, we always manage to make it work,” Bigelow said. “I think it’s because we have such a dedicated group of students, faculty and staff here.”

He cited clubs’ histories of fundraising and collaborations to collect funds in times of need.

The meeting started with a short speech by President Robert Vela, who praised the efforts of club advisers and assured them of the administration’s support of student organizations.

“We do this because we love what we do,” Vela said. “We do this because students are important. We do this because we are shaping the next generation of students that will prosper and thrive in San Antonio.”

Bigelow said funds for individual clubs, such as those from fundraising, are now being monitored more closely. Advisers are now required to submit proof of how the funds were used, as well as any funds that were withdrawn but not used, to the office of the bursar.

If any funds are withdrawn and not accounted for, the club will not have access to their funds until the situation is resolved.

Bigelow also presented a list of 11 benchmarks to the advisers. Six of them — including re-registering a club on OrgSync, attending a risk management workshop and ensuring all members are registered on OrgSync — are required for all clubs.

The benchmarks must be met each semester, with the exception of the risk management workshop, Bigelow said. Attending one workshop counts for the full academic year.

Clubs who meet the other five benchmarks by May 1 are eligible for a $250 reward for the club.

The optional benchmarks include sending an officer or designee to at least two Inter-Club Council meetings and uploading minutes of at least four general meetings to OrgSync.

Marisa Martinez, senior specialist of student success, announced that intramurals will be played in weekend-long tournaments this semester.

Martinez encouraged clubs to contact her if they are interested in selling concessions at the tournaments as a means of raising funds.

Clubs can call Martinez at 210-486-0129.

Alfred Alaniz, professor of astronomy and physics, said he tries to bring his groups to national conferences to participate in workshops and mentoring to prepare them for their careers and future education.

He advises several clubs at the college, including MAES: Latinos in Science and Engineering, the Society of Physics Students and the Society for Advancement of Hispanics, Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

“My groups’ conferences are not always close,” Alaniz said of the distance they must travel for events. Last year, students from MAES traveled to Anaheim, Calif., for the national organization’s conference.

Because of the shrinking travel budget, his groups need to do more fundraising to attend their conferences, he said.

During the meeting, he confirmed with Bigelow that there is no limit on the amount of fundraising a club can do over the semester.


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