Student orgs defend new 2019-2020 funding at HUSC appeals

HUSC revised 2019-2020 budgets for student organizations, but some organizations were not satisfied.


Melanie Hopkins

2019-2020 org budgets based on data from the HUSC Economic Affairs Committee.

Lydia Hansen, Senior Reporter

Three Hamline student organizations appealed for increases in their 2019-2020 budgets at the Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC) general assembly meeting on April 9.

Hamline African Student Association (HASA), Spectrum and the Hmong Student Association (HSA) all presented at the April 9 meeting to request more funding after their proposed budgets were adjusted by HUSC’s Economic Affairs Committee (EAC).

The EAC approves budget proposals for HUSC-chartered student organizations, as well as reviewing HUSC’s annual budget. Student organizations were able to submit proposals to the EAC earlier this year, and on March 24, the EAC reviewed these proposals and voted on 2019-2020 funding amounts.

Of the 23 organizations who submitted proposals to the EAC, 14 were approved for a lower amount than requested. EAC-adjusted totals varied anywhere from $80 to $1,500 below the amount originally requested.

The Sculpture Guild’s budget was cut $3,000 because the proposal was submitted late. HUSC policy is to cut budgets for organizations to half the amount of the previous year if the proposal is submitted after the deadline in mid March.

On April 9, the Hamline African Student Association appealed for a budget of $5,560, which passed a vote by the general assembly. HASA’s original budget proposal of $6,200 was adjusted to $4,450 by the EAC. Both are an increase from HASA’s 2018-2019 budget of $3,200.

“This is the minimum we need to not just grow but thrive,” HASA secretary Tsion Tulu said of the budget increase.

The additional funding will support HASA’s annual programming, including the popular Pamoja Night and African Heritage Month, as well as the addition of other events throughout the year.

Spectrum also appealed EAC’s budget decision, which would have cut their budget from $2,800 this year to $2,400 for 2019-2020. Spectrum appealed to receive the original amount of $3,080 they had proposed on the grounds that it would help new leadership grow the organization, an appeal HUSC passed in another general vote.

Several HUSC representatives expressed concern about the lack of clarity Spectrum provided for how the additional funding would be spent, which was also behind the EAC’s original decision to adjust Spectrum’s budget. Spectrum president and first-year Chloe Archer explained that this was because the incoming executive board planned to add new events.

“We plan to spend 100 percent of funds, but the additional $280 would be toward new events,” Archer said.

HUSC also passed a motion to grant a revised amount of $8,650 for HSA.

HSA originally asked for $9,260, but appealed for $9,000 on the grounds that the additional funding was need to expand their Hmong New Year celebration and cover the cost of purchasing cultural stoles for graduating members of the organization.

“It’s a visual representation of who we are,” HSA treasurer Pachee Yang said.

The EAC reviews budget proposals according to a guideline that looks for how well each proposal articulates how the organization has used past funding and how new amounts will help the organization grow.

“It really comes back on how well they justify their events and their new events if they have any in the future,” EAC chair and junior Jessica Lee said. “We want them to be as clear as possible.”

Collectively, HUSC has allocated $58,332, or 28 percent, of the 2019-2020 budget toward funding student organizations. HUSC’s own budget was set at $207,472 at a public meeting on April 11.