While the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee experienced its most successful semester ever last fall, it is now running out of money.
The UOFC distributed approximately two-thirds of its annual funds last semester, more than twice what it usually allocates during the fall term. In most years, however, the organization distributes 70 to 80 percent of its funds in the spring because more organizations apply during the second semester, UOFC chairman Elliott Mogul ’05 said.
UOFC member Matthew Harsha-Strong ’06 said the financial problems are a result of an increase in applications as well as a decrease in rejections. Harsha-Strong said there were fewer rejections last term because of the UOFC’s new liaison system, which pairs UOFC members with individual organizations to ensure that applications meet UOFC guidelines.
“We spent $44,000 last semester roughly, and we only get $67,000 a year,” Mogul said. “Clearly that’s a problem.”
To combat the dilemma, Mogul and Harsha-Strong wrote a resolution they will present to the Yale College Council in late January, asking for an increase in total funding. Mogul has sent letters soliciting support from Yale organization officers in order to bolster the resolution. Mogul said over 24 organizations had responded in favor of the resolution as of Tuesday night.
If the UOFC follows its normal guidelines — distributing 30 percent of its funds in the fall and 70 percent in the spring — the organization will need nearly $103,000 this semester to function as well as it did in the fall. But the UOFC is only asking for an extra $58,000. If the UOFC receives all of the funding it requests, the UOFC will still have only $81,000 to grant organizations for the rest of the year, about $22,000 short of where it should be.
But Harsha-Strong said the UOFC understands the strain the economy is putting on the University. That is why the UOFC is only asking for a total funding increase of $58,000, Harsha-Strong said.
“The administration can’t give us a $100,000 increase in a year,” Harsha-Strong said. “[But] we feel the University owes it to organizations to increase [funds] to a proper level. The administration needs to meet us halfway in this challenge.”
And if the UOFC doesn’t get extra funds?
“That’s a question I don’t want to have to answer,” Mogul said.
Though Mogul said he was afraid the economy might have a negative effect on the Yale College Dean’s Office’s decision to grant the UOFC additional funds, he said he has no regrets about the way he has run the committee.
“I feel the way we worked last semester is the way the UOFC should work in the future,” Mogul said.
Still, Harsha-Strong said when crunch time inevitably comes at the end of the semester, the UOFC may have to restrict some of the funding it allocates to organizations. If the UOFC runs out of funds by the end of the year, Harsha-Strong said, the administration may be more willing to allocate more money.
“We’re taking it in steps,” Harsha-Strong said.
Assistant Dean of Yale College Edgar Letriz could not fulfill his duties as the director of undergraduate student organizations last semester because he was on medical leave. But Letriz said he is currently reviewing the UOFC’s expenses from last semester and expects to finish by the beginning next week.