Campus organizations receive additional dollars from the EC

The Executive Committee invited student organizations across campus to apply for funding and recognition by Oct. 6.

Shauna Muckle

Washington and Lee University’s Executive Committee (EC) began disbursing additional funds to both new and old student organizations as part of its Emergency Fall Budget Allocation talks last week.

The EC is tasked with approving the budget for each student organization that requests money from the university, and setting the student activities fee that students pay each semester. It also officially recognizes student organizations on campus.

Most student organizations request the bulk of their budget during the EC’s spring budget allocations. Vice-President P.T. Meadors, ’24, said the EC already distributed roughly 88% of student activities funds last spring.

But the Emergency Fall Budget Allocation process grants campus organizations more flexibility. 

“Fall budget allocations serve two purposes,” sophomore class representative Mark Waller, ’24, said. “If clubs realize that they were not allocated enough money or didn’t request enough money in spring term, they can come and ask for more in the fall, since we’re allowed to operate with more of our budget.”

Waller added that “new clubs on campus that we just recently recognized will come to the fall term budget allocations that they weren’t around for in the spring.”

Established organizations like the Contact Committee and Student Association for Black Unity, for example, have requested more money this fall so they can hold additional events, Meadors said.

Several new organizations have applied for recognition and funds as well, including Chess Club, the Society of Women’s Engineers and the Rocketry Club, Waller said.

Waller said he’s especially excited about the Rocketry Club, which allows students to shoot rockets in the back-campus area.

“I’m excited to see all of [the new organizations] at work,” Waller said. “I’m more than happy to fund that kind of stuff, or the EC is.”

In total, 15 or 16 organizations have participated in fall budget allocation interviews so far, Meadors said. The amount each group receives is left confidential. 

In order to receive funds, each student organization must submit an application and an Excel spreadsheet to the EC detailing their line-item expenses. Those expenses could include reimbursement for travel and food, national membership dues or expenses from hosting events and speakers.

When determining how much money to allot each organization, the EC considers total membership in an organization, how many events they hold, how they use their funds and what the organization has requested in the past, Meadors said. 

This year, the EC has implemented a new policy that prevents organizations’ budgets from increasing by more than 10% each year, Meadors said, though exceptions can be made.

Waller said that organizations have been requesting more than usual due to the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions on campus, which allows student organizations to host more events.

The student activities budget is also higher than usual, in part because the EC passed a small increase in the student activities fee last year in order to adjust for inflation. Waller and Meadors said the budget is close to $1 million this year for both undergraduate and law school organizations, though the EC likely won’t use all of it.

The EC is also planning to amend its budget recognition policy in the near future. Meadors, the architect of the new policy, said the new rules are meant to better reward student organizations that contribute significantly to campus by prioritizing their budget requests.

“We want to make sure that student organizations that are consistently putting out great events that serve a lot of the student body and that really add to our campus environment get more money,” he said.

The policy hasn’t been released yet, but Meadors said the policy is also intended to improve accountability by codifying existing EC practices and bolstering record-keeping.

The EC will hold further interviews with organizations that submitted late applications at their business meeting Oct. 25. 

Both Waller and Meadors said they were impressed by the quality of applications the EC has received thus far.

“Student organizations this year have come in with great ideas about how to engage with the student body,” Meadors said. “[That comes] after a really tough year for student organizations in terms of having programming and engaging with new students.”