Student organizations concerned amid meager budgets


For the rest of 2018, Indian Student Association will continue to fund themselves, after being denied for funding from student government.

According lines 53 and 54 of the 2018 fiscal year Student Services Budget, a total allotted sum of $50,000 dollars was dedicated to requests for funding of student organizations through SGA.

In emails obtained by The Sunflower, SGA Treasurer Marshall Johnson addressed Indian Student Association’s treasurer Ashwin Rajesh by stating the following on March 8:

“Unfortunately, the senate has completely allocated all of the funding available for organizations this Fiscal Year.”

Johnson went on to express hopes that the SGA’s decision wouldn’t dissuade ISA from communicating with student government officials in the future.

Decisions for student organization funding is seperate from those decided on by the WSU Student Fees Committee. The funds are allocated to SGA by the Student Fees Committee, which are then allocated to student organizations based on requests made to student government.

“We’ve actually taken consideration for everything and we’ve done everything possible from our side but we’ve not even been given a chance,” Indian Student Association president Alla Sri Krishna Vastav said.

Vastav said ISA has not received funding from the SGA organizational allotment for the past three years.

In November last year, the Vietnamese Student Association was allotted a recommended funding of $400 for the 2018 fiscal year.

The Biomedical Engineering Students association was recommended a 2018 operating budget of $1,550.

“It’s been really hard the last three years to run the organization without any standard funding,” he said.

Vastav said ISA has explored various mediums of funding outside of SGA in recent years. This has included taking advantage of local sponsors and acceptance of donations from local businesses and Indian families.

ISA is not the only student organization frustrated with its allotted funding for 2018.

Bangladesh Student Association Vice President Arfa Haque said it was difficult being left to raise organization funds independently.

“Of course, fundraising is possible,” Haque said. “But it’s not always possible to raise a lot because we have to arrange more for that.”

Haque said SGA has an obligation to allocate funding to student organizations.

“SGA should definitely help out organizations, especially diverse organizations because they are they there for students. If it [SGA] is not helping students, what is it doing?”

In 2018, the total allotted funds for WSU organizational funding was $50,000 dollars. There are 237 recognized student organizations at WSU.

If equally distributed among all organizations, each would be allocated $210.97.

Vastav said the amount falls short of adequate funding.

Last year Indian Student Association spent a total of $5,643 on its annual Indian Night festival at the Rhatigan Student Center. According to Vastav, funds for this event came from committee members and local sponsors.

“Being a recognized student organization by SGA, I think they really should consider at least giving us a chance to speak up for what we need,” Vastav said. “That is one thing which was lacking this semester.”

In comparison, Vastav noted that SGA doesn’t reserve capability to fund even half of the budget requirement of ISA’s major annual event.

“SGA can only provide us only with $2,000 per organization,” he said. “That’s the maximum they can, so it’s never possible. We spent more than SGA actually can give us, not because we want to, but because it is a necessity.

“In the 35 years, we’ve always spent more than they [SGA] can give us,” Vastav said.

Tejas Prakash, a graduate engineering student and member of ISA, said SGA should be more attentive to the needs of student organizations.

“When we actually need something, they should actually be able to consider that and think about it,” Prakash said.

With a 20 percent rise in projected allotments for 2019, student organizations will have a total of $60,000 available in supplementary funds next year.