Student Government allocates $1.6 million

By Makayla Tendall [email protected]

Zach Clemens

The Great Hall of the Memorial Union was packed with people and anticipation as almost 100 different student groups awaited the Student Government Senate’s decision on if their respective group would receive funding for the next year.

Student Government holds an annual meeting at the end of the spring semester called regular allocations. This is an opportunity for student organizations and clubs to receive funding from Student Government for the following academic year.

Student Government does a regular funding allocation once a year, said Student Government President Dan Breitbarth, but they have tried to streamline the process and make it easier using online portals.

Student organizations must meet a number of requirements before they can even be considered for funding.


The leadership of each student organization must come to an informational meeting, where Finance Director Hamad Abbas, a senior in political science, explains the requirements and gives them the permission to upload their organization budget in the online system Student Government uses.

The organization must fit into the following before submitting their budget:

• The organization must be officially recognized by the Student Activities Center and must be open to all activity fee-paying students and spouse cardholders.

• The organization must not endorse or support—or receive support—from any political candidate or party that is recognized in the United States or the state of Iowa, with the exception of Student Government candidates.

• The organization cannot request funds to pay off outstanding debt to Student Government or an outside entity.

• Residence area Student Government constituency councils cannot receive funds.

• Organizations cannot have more than half its members receiving academic credit for being a member.

• The organization cannot primarily exist to get its members an internship, scholarship, or professional degree status.

• The organization must not maintain an affiliation with academic professional organization or have a mission directed toward a particular academic program.

• The organization must charge member dues.

If requirements are met, they may upload a budget and then meet with the Finance Committee.

“That’s when the Finance Committee … examines their expenses, asks questions about the groups, and figure out what tier to place [the group] in,” Abbas said.

An organization will fall under one of three different tiers—with a fourth tier for funding ineligible groups.

“The tier system is really about our relationship with the groups,” Abbas said.

Tier one is for partner organizations, whose missions are critical to the university and Student Government. Groups like the University Lectures Program and the Student Union Board are considered partner organizations.

Tier two, for sponsor organizations, serves a broad interest. Publications such as student magazines, The Iowa State Daily and other umbrella organizations like the International Student Council fit here.

Tier three is for funding eligible organizations. These groups are smaller groups more concerned with their specific members and the group serves primarily their members, such as sports clubs and special interest and niche clubs.

Once requirements are met, the group meets with the Finance Committee, their funding is preliminarily approved. Organization leadership is required to go to the Senate for a final vote.

The funds that go to the almost 100 student organizations originate from the $36.75 student activity fee that each student pays per semester. The student activity fees that are assessed go directly back to students through student organizations and clubs.

During the Senate meeting, two funding bills were pulled for further discussion. All other funding bills—over 130—were passed with unanimous consent, approving more than $1.6 million in funds for student organizations.

One bill that was divided out was the Student Government budget. The other was Datum, a student journal of architecture. Datum was pulled at the request of the group, Vice Speaker of the Senate Michael Snook said. They requested $4,000 and the budget the Finance Committee set out only $3,000.

“We are hoping to extend our reach from just the College of Design,” said Datum’s editor, Callah Nelson, a senior in architecture. “We are planning on distributing our publication to more places on campus.”

When asked by Sen. Zack Murrell why they are wanting to expand distribution, Nelson said they believe there is more of a need for this type of publication.

Sen. Cole Staudt said that the issue in Finance Committee was the price per copy. Typical publications are around $3.00 per copy while Datum was requesting $11.27 per copy. Staudt presented an amendment to change the budget to the original $4000, which passed with a vote of 31 to 3.

“The organization has shown commitment to keeping costs down, and there are no [regulations] on what the price per copy can be, so I urge you to pass this funding bill,” Snook said.

The budget was sent to the Finance Committee for further discussion to approve the budget. The Finance Committee did not approve the amendment, so it was sent back to the Senate.

Sen. Danielle Nygard said Student Government senators should not arbitrarily dictate the price per copy of a publication.

Sen. Staudt proposed an amendment once again to raise the amount to $4,000, which was approved by a vote of 25 to 7.

With six minutes left to discuss the funding bill, it was passed by a vote of 30 to 3.

The Student Government funding bill — after no discussion on the bill — was approved unanimously for $142,215.48 allocated for next year to the governing body.

A bill was presented that would have election results be posted within 48 hours after elections, as well as have the election commission work with student media outlets to get the results out to the student population. The bill failed by a vote of 16 to 15.

Cyclone Market and the women’s lacrosse club were also approved unanimously for funding.