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Some UI student organizations hope to attain special funding

BY RISHABH R. JAIN | NOVEMBER 12, 2012 6:30 AM

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Three University of Iowa student organizations have applied to attain special status as collaboratively funded organizations, a recognition only eight student organizations on campus currently enjoy.

Hawk’s Nest, Indian Student Alliance, and Walk It Out sent in their budget proposals last week to the UI Student Government and the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students; they will learn about the fate of their applications today.

Student organizations on campus apply for funding each year and receive a lump sum of money at the end of the fiscal year; they can also qualify for three instances of supplemental funding during the year.

On the other hand, collaboratively funded organizations receive all of their funds at the beginning of the year. Dance Marathon and the Bijou are two of the eight collaboratively funded organizations.

Erica Lester, chief financial officer of UISG, said the status is highly sought after and has very strict qualification criteria.

“Organizations on campus that are widely known and have a wide impact are recognized,” she said.

Unlike student organizations that have to remit their balance back to the UI, collaboratively funded organizations get to keep their balances and use it toward the next year’s budget.

The Indian Student Alliance said it needs the distinction to increase its recognition and to support its long-standing events, including Diwali and Naachte Raho.

“It would finally give us recognition on campus,” said Jostna Dash, the president of the multicultural organization. “We are valuable to this campus, and we do create diversity and an inclusive environment. I think [UISG’s decision] will go out to show how much the university supports diversity.”

If selected, the Indian Student Association will be the first cultural organization to attain the status on campus. Dash noted that this year, the group received $29,000 in funds from UISG and the Executive Council.

Another organization that hopes to become one of the big ones is Hawks Nest, the official student section of Hawkeye athletics.

Group President Thomas McCann said its members realized that major funds were needed to host events such as Hawkapalooza and decided to apply for collaboratively funded organization standing this year.

“Just having the certainty of having optimum funds is a great feeling,” he said. “We wouldn’t have to keep our fingers crossed for supplemental funding and things like that.”

Unlike Dash, McCann also said his organization needs the the status for financial security and not so much for brand creation.  

Collaboratively funded organizations must renew their standing every two years by reapplying. Lester said organizations have lost the tag in the past and therefore need to very careful with budgeting and transparency.

Dance Marathon — which raised $1,369,127 for cancer patients last year — has applied to renew its collaboratively funded organization status this year.

“We definitely want to be a collaboratively funded organization again,” said Daniel Morse, the group’s business director. “It is very important. We have big events during the academic year and need to fund those events.”


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