The Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee hopes to change the application student groups use to request funding by the end of the semester, UOFC chairman Matthew Harsha-Strong ’06 said.
The new application will likely decrease the percentage of rejected applications, Harsha-Strong said. Major proposed changes to the application include making the Internet hyperlink to the application display instructions about filling out the funding form before linking to the form itself, adding pop-up help boxes to the application, creating a confirmation page that shows organizations the form the way the UOFC will see it, and forcing organizations to fill out every field before the application can be submitted, Harsha-Strong said.
Harsha-Strong said while the UOFC rejected 10 applications out of 38 total at its Nov. 3 meeting, it turned down seven of those because the organizations did not submit complete applications. The committee rejected the other three because the organizations had failed to register with the Dean’s Office within the allotted time. Having the link to the UOFC application first display instructions should help lower the number of incomplete applications, Harsha-Strong said.
“We expect organizations to follow the instructions,” Harsha-Strong said. “They need to read these instructions and they’d be fine. But they don’t.”
Harsha-Strong said the online form may discourage organizations from being as thorough as they would be on a paper submission. Yale College Council President Elliott Mogul ’05, who was last year’s UOFC chairman, said when applications could not be submitted online last year, the average rejection rate was 5.2 percent — much lower than the 26 percent rejection rate from the Nov. 3 meeting. Mogul said he could not attribute the difference to “anything else” besides the switch to online applications.
In spite of higher rejection rates, online applications are still preferable because of their convenience, Harsha-Strong said.
The UOFC does not reject applications because of a “judgment call” about the organization, Mogul said. Mogul said most, if not all, applications are rejected because they have been filled out improperly, the club has not registered with the Dean’s Office, or the funding request is for something the UOFC’s bylaws forbid funding.
Founder and President of the Bridge Club for Yale College Students Jonathan Bittner ’07 said his organization received $122.50 from the UOFC — about half of what it had requested. Bittner said he thought the funding application was ambiguous.
“The UOFC application looked very ‘thrown together,'” Bittner said. “You just had to guess your way through it basically.”
Bittner said a new application with clearer instructions would be helpful.
“There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement,” Bittner said.
Harsha-Strong said the new application is one of many changes to the UOFC, which is now entirely student-run, this year.
“The UOFC is always looking for ways to improve its services to undergraduate organizations,” Harsha-Strong said.
Harsha-Strong said the UOFC has also reduced the time it takes for organizations to receive their checks from up to three months last year to within a week this year.