The procedures Yalies use to apply for student group funding look set to becomemore transparent this year.
The Undergraduate Organization Funding Committee, which allocates funds and lends equipment to student groups, plans tohost workshops, office hours and roundtable discussions this fall to help students groups better understand the committee’sprocedures, UOFC Chair Allen Granzberg ’13 said. In the UOFC’s first workshop of the year, which over 30 students attended in Linsley-Chittenden Hall Monday night, Granzberg outlined how students can create new organizations and apply for funding.
“Not a lot of people know what the UOFC is,” said Granzberg. “That’s a problem, and we’re planning to change that.”
UOFC board member Ila Nimgaonkar ’13 said that many students have beenconfused about how to apply for funding according to officialUOFC guidelines, which contain intricaciesthat students often overlook.Monday’s workshop was a step towards mitigatingthis problem, she said.
Later this fall, UOFC board members will host two roundtable dinner discussions in whichstudentscan ask questionsor present complaints over dinner.Board members will also hold office hours three times per week, said board member Adin Lykken ’14, who added that he could not yet predict how many students would make use of the new option.
Other workshops planned for this semester will address methods for funding special eventsand for renting equipment, such as speakers and mixers used by disc jockeys. Nimgaonkar said in the past many students have not understood how to use the equipment they acquire through the UOFC.
Lykken added that the committee plans to develop other events as the year continues.
While Granzberg said this focus on events is a departure from previous policy, he said would also like to strengthen the existing UOFC liaison system by encouraging the board members to meet more frequentlywith student organizations.
“In the past, our liaisons to student organizations just passed the check to the group, and there was no real interaction with the people we were funding,” Lykken said, adding that UOFC liaisons have already met with several student organizations.
The committee also plans to create a “special events blog,” which will list events of student groupsand make the online system for renting equipement easier to use.
Three leaders of student organizations interviewed all expressed satisfaction that the UOFC is reaching out to the community. Elmseed CEO Jared Jones ’12 saidthe UOFC’s efforts have helped him to plan his group’s finances early in the academic year.
Muslim Students Association Treasurer Mansur Ghani ’14 said the access to information has made his work as treasurer much simpler.
“Their initiatives to increase access to help and information for students looking for funding are very useful,” Ghani said. “Treasurers are often expected to acquire funding without any other members knowing what the process is, and this can be a lot of pressure.”
The UOFC can grant student groups up to $600, but a three-page document of guidelines specify how these funds can be allocated.Over 400 registered organizations are eligible for funding and equipment rental from the UOFC this year. The UOFC distributed over $175,000 last year, deriving funding from the Yale College Student Activities Fee as well as the President’s and Dean’s Offices.