Student organizations learn about funding

On Wednesday, the Undergraduate Student Government Funding Team hosted a workshop in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center to teach student organizations how to apply for USG funding.

The workshop aimed to present how USG can support student organizations’ programming, development and professional efforts.

“We want to make sure the rules are clear and understandable, and make sure that these student organizations know how they can work their programs and applications to make them align better with our policies,” USG Treasurer Kameron VanWoerkom said.

The USG Funding Team is made up of four sections: leadership, discretionary, philanthropy and professional-academic. The workshop consisted of the director for each section speaking about the funding process related to his or her funding section.

The directors stressed the importance of clearing up confusion about the process, as the rules regarding applying for funds are quite extensive.

For funding eligibility, applicants must be part of student-led undergraduate organizations recognized either by the Office of Campus Activities or Greek Life, and USG will only fund specific expenses. It cannot offer reimbursement or advances.

“I want to make sure I’m perfectly clear on the rules. I don’t want you to leave here confused or with your head spinning,” VanWoerkom said.

Every student organization that attended the event received a $200 bonus voucher toward their funding.

This is the second funding workshop USG has hosted this year. The first was held in September and another will occur this December. By hosting the workshop three times this semester, the USG funding team hopes that every student organization will have access to adequate funding.

“We are just making sure that everyone who wants the to chance to attend can,” VanWoerkom said.

He noted that these workshops benefit both USG and the participating student organizations.

“These [workshops] help us help the organizations, because we can teach them how to get through the process all at once in a one-day, classroom setting,” VanWoerkom said.

Student organizations in attendance included the Korean Career Oriented Student Organization, the USC Rotaract Club, a service-oriented organization, and Trojan Business Alliance.

Tyler Tokunaga, assistant director of discretionary funding, noted that attendance at this meeting was less than at the one that took place in September.

“The funding application for fall is closed, so there’s less turnout than before,” Tokunaga said.

Organizations can currently apply for spring funding, however, and some student organizations attended the workshop in the hopes of learning more about the funding process.

Austin Mora, a junior majoring in business administration and the co-executive director of the Southern California Business Film Festival, came to the meeting hoping to clear up his confusion about funding.

“I think it’s sort of a confusing process if you don’t know the specifics about it,” he said. “I think the main goal is figuring out where your place is and how to best utilize the resources that are given to you.”

The complicated process of funding concerned some student organizations. Bobby Schimm, a senior majoring in business administration and a member of the USC Rotaract Club, said this was his first information session and the rules and regulations were a lot to process.

“I think there’s room for improvement [in the funding process]. It seems like there’s a lot of hoops to jump through,” Schimm said.

Jonas Guan, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, came to the meeting to learn how funding will work for a potential organization. He and three classmates are hoping to form a Computer Security Club.

“I learned how the USG funding works and it was incredibly helpful,” Guan said. “I think the process is pretty good so far.”


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