The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: Allocation restructuring will pay dividends

Student senate last night divvied up money to student organizations, using its current system for the last time.

Student Government plans to restructure its allocation process into a rolling system. As it stands, organizations must ask for funding at the beginning of the semester. While it’s been relatively effective, the current system requires student leaders to have the foresight necessary to request the right amount of money for an entire semester of expenses.

In that regard, it leaves some organizations vulnerable to last-minute changes in their plans, whether it’s a canceled concert, a broken piece of equipment or a spur-of-the-moment event they hope to attend. The new system should help accommodate these needs, and if it manages to use up all the money SG is allocated, it could even spur some additional student organization funding from USC itself.

Obviously, by having a rolling funds allocation, student organizations will be afforded added flexibility in their financial planning. Rather than planning and scheduling months in advance, which risks snafus and changed plans, organizations will be able to approach SG whenever they need money, although it’ll have to be at least five weeks in advance.

While this new system should provide a great deal of flexibility to each and every student organization, it will also benefit the network of student organizations as a whole.

Each year, thousands of dollars SG allocates isn’t used by the student organizations that ask for them; plans change, and estimates deviate from reality.

This poses two problems: For starters, that’s money that comes from students’ activity fees that collects dust, while organizations regularly don’t get all the money they need. Second, until student organizations begin using up every cent they get, USC won’t be handing out more funding anytime soon.

Once all the money is being spent regularly, student organizations could see the benefits of a larger budget.

The rolling funding process should help student organizations use all the money they request, and it could make SG more liberal in its allocations.

We hope they won’t get too liberal, though.

We’re worried that rolling funding could dry up the coffers too quickly if too much money is doled out at the beginning of the semester. That could be problematic for student organizations looking to have an event later in the year or who wait too long to ask for funding.

We expect SG will use discretion to prevent that from happening, but we encourage them to heed that possibility.

Nevertheless, this restructuring follows in an encouraging pattern of proactivity that’s emerging in SG. While SG has never been short on ideas, it has been on execution.

With this system, pending student senate approval, we expect student organizations will enjoy newfound flexibility in financial planning and maybe even a larger budget down the road.

After all the drama it drummed up with the house of delegates, we’re happy to see SG is making things right with student organizations.