The Students’ Association (SA) has approved a proposal to provide political and religious student organizations with a flat fund for organizing events open to the student body.

Previously, the SA was concerned when providing funding for student organizations associated with political and religious causes due to fears that it would raise concerns over how the SA was involved with those organizations.

SA President Shilpa Topudurti commented that the previous senate was opposed to funding any political or religious group on campus in order to “remain neutral on campus and to support everyone equally. [They didn’t] want to use the student activity fee fund to push a viewpoint on the students.”

Over the summer, Topudurti sent out a survey to the affiliated organizations and decided to provide a flat-fund for all organizations. She found that groups were paying out-of-pocket for small costs such as flyers and food & beverages for events open to the student body.

“Groups are struggling to sustain themselves because they are having to rely on E-board members to pay out of pocket for a lot of these overhead or administrative costs,” Topudurti said. “It was important to look at that and see what we could do to help.”

While these organizations can file for additional funding to cover these costs, Topudurti is concerned that the groups wouldn’t take the time to fill out paperwork for these small costs at the time, allowing the out-of-pocket expenses to build steadily.

According to Topudurti, the funding will come directly from the President’s discretionary fund, which is designated for the President to appropriate towards whichever projects they see fit.

In March, Topudurti will examine the budget and attempt to make amendments to the bylaws to cover the funding. The goal is to ensure that the funding received is the same amongst all the groups. The amount of funding will be decided by examining how well the funds are used throughout the year.

Smith is a member of the class of 2014.

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