Last week, I compiled the data from the Student Group Census. I was heartened to see more than 200 responses from different student groups on campus. The positive comments were very encouraging for everyone in Student Union. The business coordinators and the student workers, in particular, were very touched by the kind remarks. On their behalf, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all of you.
There were also many valuable comments highlighting areas that Student Union could improve in. It was humbling to read through them and I am genuinely grateful for these comments. There is still much that Student Union can improve on when it comes to accountability, engagement and transparency. We will also work hard to simplify our allocation and appeal processes, and to make sure that they cater to our diverse range of more than 300 student groups on campus.
To encourage greater accountability and transparency, I will list out the projects Student Union Finance will be working on for all our student groups throughout the academic year:
- Review the General Budget process to ensure that all students – not only student legislators – will be able to participate and have a say in how the $3.2 million General Budget is allocated. This will happen in Spring semester, so please stay tuned!
- Revamp the Budget Allocation process to ensure consistency, fairness, and most importantly, transparency.
- Publicize and expand the Advocacy fund to ensure that social justice, community service, and sustainability events receive a fair amount of funding from semester to semester. This fund is open to all student organizations. Contact me if you want to find out more!
- Overhaul the funding structure for all sports clubs on campus. There has been a lot of feedback on issues sports club face when trying to receive funding. A committee will be set up – with representation from sports clubs, Treasury, and SU Exec – to come up with a new funding structure next semester to improve accountability and to ensure that sports clubs are adequately funded for their activities.
- A secret project that is close to my heart. Details will be revealed later. 😉
All of these projects were a direct result of the feedback that we’ve received from student groups over the years. We understand that changes cannot be implemented from the ivory tower, which is why we take all comments and suggestions very seriously. I will attach the Student Union Census results to this email so that everyone can have access to them. If you strongly agree with some of the comments and have more points to add, please do reach out to us through email, a casual meeting over coffee, or even through text!
Finally, I have some suggestions on what you can do for your student group:
If you feel that budget allocation process did not adequately take care of your student group’s funding needs or if you have any new programming ideas that require funding, submit an appeal through the SU Finance website
(appeals under $1,000 comes to me; appeals above $1,000 goes to Treasury.) We’ve been working very hard to make the face of SU Finance as personable as possible (I will be very friendly, I promise.)
If you would like a specific SU officer to reach out to you directly or even come to your student group’s GBM to talk about Student Union and specific aspects of SU, fill out this Google form
and we will reach out to you by the end of this week.
Finally, if you feel that your student group can be better represented and would like a more direct way to make a difference, join Student Union today! You can either run for election or apply for a position at the beginning of each semester! (By the way, today is the deadline for submitting an election application.)
As always, do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or feedback on how SU can serve you better.
Thank you very much for your attention!
Kenneth Sng / VP of Finance
firstname.lastname@example.org / 314-800-3841
WashU Student Union