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Large student events fund depleted with three months left in academic year

Hatchet File Photo by Grace Hromin
SA Senate resignations have been a regular occurance in recent years, but an especially large number of senators have departed this term.

A new fund for large student events is now depleted with three months left in the school year, a GW official said at Monday’s Student Association Senate meeting.

David Bonilla-Ciferri, the Office of Student Life’s director of student involvement and leadership and a University-Wide Programs Fund committee member, said the fund initially operated with a budget of about $219,000. He said the money came from the University’s matching of the $3 per-credit Student Association fund all students pay, which previously went toward the SA budget.

“We spent a lot of time talking about what made the most sense,” he said. “And our goal has always been to reduce barriers to student organizations.”

Events for more than 350 students, cultural events and University traditions can receive funding from the University-Wide Programs Fund. Student organizations that have not yet applied for funding for large cultural events, like the Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration, now must find other means of funding.

Student organizations requested $432,941.06 for events totaling a projected attendance of 18,385 students, according to the allocations record. The University-Wide Programs Fund allocated $189,444.30 to events totaling an attendance of 16,355 students, about 44 percent of the amount requested, according to the data.

Bonilla-Ciferri said the University-Wide Programs Fund committee returned $30,445.50 to graduate student umbrella organizations after meetings last semester where the committee spoke with these organizations about feelings of unpreparedness surrounding budget cuts. The University cut the Student Bar Association’s budget by about $24,000 at the beginning of the school year after creating the University-Wide Programs Fund.

The University-Wide Programs Fund committee is made up of an equal number of staff and SA members.

SBA President Nicole Karem announced in her report to the SBA Senate on Oct. 11 that the University returned $6,000 to the SBA’s budget.

SA and SBA Sen. Cody Ingraham, LAW-G, said the late timing of the budget cut did not give the SBA time to prepare for a reduced budget this year.

“I don’t think there would have been as much of an issue had the $24,000 been taken out ahead of time, and the SBA was able to prepare for that,” he said. “But the timing of it really screwed things up.”

Bonilla-Ciferri said the University-Wide Programs Fund provided funding for events like the month-long Black Heritage Celebration, parts of the Latinx Heritage Celebration and a keynote and concert for the South Asian Heritage Celebration. The data indicates the committee allocated $42,017 for the Black Heritage Celebration.

The record indicates the committee allocated total of $38,345 to the GW South Asian Society for Raas Chaos – a dance event held Nov. 19 that anticipated 1,000 attendees – and a concert and keynote held on Feb. 8. 

The committee also allocated $14,910 to receSs for the comedy festival SLATE, held on Feb. 19 with an anticipated attendance of 425 students.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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