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A Look at Which Orgs Garner More Funds

     USD’s Student Government Association voted which student organizations should be considered as “large organizations” for the upcoming year. 

     Large organization status means that an organization has access to a greater funding pool than most of the others organizations on campus.

     This year, SGA voted to approve eight organizations as large organizations, which collectively have a budget of $181,898.95 for Fiscal Year 2025.

     By contrast, small organizations have a total budget of $78,197.05 for FY25.

     Six votes were unanimous: African Student Association, Dakotathon, Dakota Days, ASIA, International Club and Tiospaye received large organizations status without a single no vote.

     So how do SGA senators decide who will have access to more funds?

     Sen. Sam Markley spoke with The Volante on how he discerns which organizations are worthy of large organization status.

     “We look for stability, finance utilization, and then a good solid plan going forward,” Markley said.   “One of the main questions I was asked is concerning the money we’ve given them this year, and if they’ve utilized it, how much they’ve used. We really only want to give money to the people who have used what we’ve given them already.”

     Sen. Mohamed Mohamed echoed similar themes, stating he has three criteria in his decision-making: membership, events and mission alignment.

     Two large organization did not have unanimous support of the senators. Sen. Mickelson voted no on Charlie’s Cupboard, while Sen. Connelly and Sen. Mohamed voted no on the Campus Activity Board (CAB).

     Mohamed said fiscal responsibility played a role in his decision to vote against CAB’s large organization status.

     “Following that [24kGoldn] concert, SGA asked what they were doing to have some budget responsibilities when it comes to their funding,” Mohamed said. “And to me, I personally did not get any reassurances that there were rules established for them to take responsibility with their budget.”

     The Indian Student Association and Spectrum did not garner the votes to become  large orgs this year.

     Markley, the lone yea vote for Spectrum’s large organization request, thought their budget warranted large organization status.

     “You need to be a large org to request money above a certain threshold, around $8,000,” Markley said.  “And so I figured, okay, however much money they’re going to get, it’s going to be around that barrier.

     Even though no other senator voted with him, he’s not upset with his fellow senators.

     “I think I agree with the decision that was made by SGA because of the split sums of money,’ Markley said. “If we did grant them [large organization status], that’d be $1,000 that wouldn’t be going to Tiospaye or Asian American Students Association.”

     The Indian Student Association received three yes votes for large organization status.

     Mohamed pointed to their relative recency and collaboration with other organizations for justification.

     “They’re really good with their events and they can do [more events] through collaborations with other student orgs,” said Mohamed.  “I personally think it’s not the time yet, but at some point, I think their status should be looked at.”

     Small student organizations will request budgets for the following school year at the beginning of Fall Semester 2024.