Stony Brook University’s Undergraduate Student Government allows for clubs to apply for money in the form of grants on top of the club’s predetermined budget. Many clubs use these grants, commonly referred to as an Event Grant or Asset Grant, to help them host events, pay for tournaments or purchase materials and supplies for the club. Yet with the passing of two Asset Grants and seven Event Grants at the senate meeting this week, USG is left with $7,000 for the rest of the semester to use towards these grants.
“We’re going to try and be frugal with the money,” USG Treasurer Thomas Kirnbauer said. “If a club deserves it, we will give it to them.”
Kirnbauer said USG will be awarding grants on a first come, first serve basis with precedence to those clubs who are applying for a grant for their first time. Once the money is gone, there will be no more grants, Kirnbauer said.
“There is more than enough time to try for funding,” he said, while warning that the money will eventually run out, and probably soon.
USG is not planning on adding extra money for the grants but it still remains a possibility.
According to Executive Vice President Deborah Machalow, USG had $85,000 at the beginning of the academic year to put towards Event Grants.
Kirnbauer said the money for the grants depleted “quicker than expected” and that USG did not spend more than half of the money allocated for the grants in the Fall semester.
However, with multiple applications for large grants from many clubs, such as the $20,000 Asset Grant that was approved during this week’s meeting for the Sailing Club to buy boats, the money was spent quickly. Kirnbauer said the money was spent so quickly because it was a new opportunity for clubs to take advantage of, which they were made well aware of at the beginning of the year.
“It’s a new system that the senate is operating under,” Machalow said. “There was no such thing as event grants in the old financial bylaws. It takes a lot to work out the kinks and this is one of the kinks. I wish there was more money in the pot.”
The money for the grants comes from a rollover process of money left over at the end of the academic year. It is USG’s annual goal to spend their entire budget, but Machalow said approximately $200,000 is usually left over. According to the financial bylaws, “at least 40% of the previous Academic Year’s rollover budget shall be allocated for Event Grants.”
There were more Asset Grants this year than Machalow could remember in years past. This and the creation of Event Grants helped deplete the money more quickly than anyone was expecting.
USG President Mark Maloof created an executive order at the beginning of the semester to rewrite the financial bylaws, according to Machalow. “If it goes through, there will be graphic changes to the bylaws and the event grant process,” she said.
Machalow said she hopes the clubs will react positively because USG is trying to incorporate ideas from the clubs but she does “think there’s going to be some confusion because [the senate] would have rewritten a major piece of legislation essentially twice in one year.”
This quick depletion and soon to be lack of money will not affect on-campus events not hosted by clubs. Machalow said that the budget for the spring concert and other events comes from a different pool of money, one that the Student Activities Board controls. Therefore, USG and SAB will be able to host events as planned. Only clubs who were in need of extra money and planning on receiving it through these grants will be affected.

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