Board allocates over $230,000 for RSOs
October 21, 2019
With the fall semester halfway over, Registered Student Organizations are in the midst of planning their annual events. To have a successful year, RSOs have to maintain their budget, which is where the Student Organization Resource Fee comes in.
The SORF board is comprised of 10 members whose main jobs are to manage the funds that come from a student fee.
About $60 of each student’s tuition goes toward student-generated fees; more specifically, $5.50 of those $60 goes toward SORF, which in turn allows the organization to fund RSOs on campus.
This year, SORF received a record number of funding requests during its fall two period, one of 10 funding periods during the school year. It disbursed $237,000 to various RSOs.
“It was really cool to go to that board meeting and be like ‘hey guys, at the end of this meeting we’ve allocated like $237,000’, which was by far the most SORF has allocated in a single funding period,” said Adam Peterson, chairperson for SORF.
There was not a defining factor in the increase in funding applications this past year, but a few changes were made in the advertising methods to encourage RSOs to apply for funding.
The SORF board began to email the president, the treasurer and the three authorized agents that were attached to RSOs to inform them that the organization could help with potential funding in the future.
“The website actually crashed, so we had to extend the application two days and that led to a lot of people being like ‘oh we have some extra time’ so they applied,” Peterson said. “Within a span of a week, we went from 30 applications on Monday to 188 submissions Saturday night.”
To further the accessibility of SORF to various RSOs, the organization has tried to open up its standards and restrictions on what is permitted for funding.
Initially, disposable products with one-time use, such as knives and playdough, were prohibited from being funded. However, SORF will now fund these types of disposable products. Peterson said another major change is the start of funding registration fees, which are especially important in Greek life because they are required to pay a fee to national organizations. Being able to subsidize that fee has had a large impact on SORF applications.
Because of funding, the SORF board has been able to work with different RSOs to help them maintain their activities and pursue future events.
“For the rowing team, we use the funding for a couple of things; one of the main things we use it for is our equipment since we rent our boats through the Illinois rowing association,” said Amanda Diner, Illini Rowing President. “A lot of our budget throughout the year goes towards fixing and maintaining them and makes sure it says insured.”
The SORF board primarily works with the treasurer of each RSO rather than other affiliates. Many of the applications needed can only be submitted by the treasurer or else it will be disregarded.
Jasmine Cuasay, treasurer of the Philippine Student Association, said being in a treasurer position requires one to take into account the many rules and regulations that are in place in the current SORF year since the organization does not inform anyone of the rule changes.
“I think they are going toward more detailed accounts of what your requests are, so really fill out the details and put in the contracts cause that just helps facilitates the whole process to go a lot more smoothly,” Cuasay said.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article did not properly introduce Adam Peterson as a source. The Daily Illini regrets this error.