Student organizations on campus are in need of funding each year in order to pay for expenses and host events for members and students.
Tate Rasmussen, treasurer for College Democrats, talked about the need for funding in their organization.
“We need to pay for speakers' expenses, and sometimes we need to pay for a venue,” Rasmussen said.
To ask for donations, Rasmussen said College Democrats have to reach out to other organizations or ask around the Ames area.
“Just about all of our [funding] is from random donations,” Rasmussen said. “A lot of them come from our advisers. Otherwise, we ask the Story County Democrats for money, and they’re always happy to oblige.”
Funding for College Democrats varies each year, but is spent on events, speakers and merchandise.
“It really depends on if there’s an election or not,” Rasmussen said. “We’ll have more events if there’s an election that year. I’d say we receive anywhere from about $1,000 to $2,000 from donors.”
Madison Mueller, finance director of Student Government, discussed where Student Government's funding comes from and how it is spent throughout the semester.
“Every student pays $38 per semester in student activity fees,” Mueller said. “We in Student Government, in the finance committee, reallocate that funding towards mostly student organizations. [...] We fund Student Legal Services, and then we do fund about $200,000 of nonprofits [such as] emergency child care.”
The fees paid by students go back into events such as ISU After Dark, guest lectures and Finals Week treats, Mueller said.
“We give about $2 million a year back to student organizations,” Mueller said. “Student Government is entirely funded by students, and we give that money back one hundred percent to students.”
Student Government requires organizations to have funding eligibility in order to receive donations from them.
“[The organization] has to be open to all students, so that’s where fraternities and sororities can’t get funding through student government,” Mueller said. “They also have to show some sort of income on their own. We say $20 per member per year because Student Government doesn’t want to be the sole funder of organizations.”
In the next year, Mueller said Student Government hopes to fund more events and passive programming than they have in previous years.
“Not everybody is actively involved in a club or organization,” Mueller said. “So we’ve been trying really hard to do finals goodie bags. You don’t have to be in a club or organization to get those. [...] We’re trying to do more of those programs where students can still see the value of their money.”
Student Government has multiple funds to help organizations around campus, such as the Green Initiative fund and an events account.
“If students have ideas that they want funding for, it does not hurt to ask Student Government,” Mueller said. “We will either help them find the funds ourselves or get them hooked up with someone who can pay for it.”