Organizations underutilize SOLO Fund

SGA’s Student Organization Life Opportunity General Operating Fund has allocated only $2,000 this semester, down from $8,000 last semester.

Ashley Humphrey, SGA senator and treasurer, also leads the SOLO Fund Allocation Committee. She said she feels that lack of knowledge about the fund has prevented student organizations from submitting applications, leading to a decrease in allocation.

“I think that people want to use SOLO,” Humphrey said. “They just need to find the time to plan events and to fulfill the application process.”

Humphrey said that there is about $40,000 in the fund and any money not used will stay in the fund and will be used for future organization events.

Two organizations have been awarded funding, both having applied during the first allocation period. No organizations applied for the second allocation period.

The Rugby Team applied for $250 per home game in order to provide concessions for the people attending. They were allocated the money, $1,000 total.

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity applied for funding for a concert they held Friday, Oct. 21. They were also allocated $1,000.

Humphrey and the committee held an information session to educate student organization leaders about the funding opportunities through SOLO. Twelve organizations participated in the session, but none have applied for funding.

Humphrey said that the committee’s hearing is to give a recommendation to the senate on whether or not to provide funding.

Robert Griffin, senior mechanical engineering major and president of Engineers Without Borders, said EWB plans to apply once they have an event eligible for funding.

“We have looked into the SOLO Fund for several things, but the detail required for the initial application could be seen as fairly daunting,” Griffin said. “I know that you don’t want it to be able to be used for too broad of applications, but the way the process is set up is very limiting.”

Activities eligible for SOLO funding must be intended to benefit all or a significant portion of the student body and to recruit new members to the organization hosting the event. These requirements are provided for under Article XIV of the SGA Constitution.

Humphrey said that organizations may be having a difficult time planning events that can reach the number of students the bill was intended for.

“We tried to find ways that an organization can work their event into one that fits into the mold for SOLO funding,” Humphrey said. “However, it is not SGA’s responsibility to fulfill an organization’s end of the application process.”

Student organizations are verified through the Office of Student Affairs by the SGA treasurer, according to the SGA Constitution. Any organizations not currently registered on campus, or not in good standing with the Office of Student Activities, will be denied funding until they are recognized organizations or in good standing.

After an application is approved by SGA, it goes to the vice president of Student Affairs who then has the option of accepting or rejecting it.

Student organizations must provide receipts for all SOLO Fund expenditures to the Office of Student Affairs.

The SOLO Fund Allocation Committee will hold a hearing for any student organizations applying for the third allocation period Nov. 14.