Emergency fund rules may tighten

Rachel Logan, Copy Editor

In September, the student government’s emergency allocation funds pool was $20,000.

In January, it was about $10,000, and now, two weeks into February, it’s just $3,600.

 Senators were working last week on being more selective when allocating from a smaller emergency pool next year. 

At a Feb. 4 meeting, senators debated guidelines to be met before a club could be awarded emergency funding.

These guidelines were ultimately struck, with plans to bring them back up with revisions this Monday. 

The struck guidelines proposed by Parliamentarian Kassandra Matthews said that, in order to receive emergency funding, club members must have submitted a budget for the previous year with accurate proof, have attended budgeting meetings in the past year and be in good standing. 

Club members also must not have been aware of the financial need when budgeting was completed the previous year.

Vice President Gretchen Shepard said that the guidelines were proposed to reduce the number of emergency-allocation requests to only real emergencies. 

“Only rare times were (requests) actual emergencies,” she said of requests she’s seen over the years.

Treasurer Olivia Albert said that, this year, the emergency allocation pool started around $20,000, or 5 percent of the total amount available to divvy out to budgets.

“By decreasing the (emergency allocation pool) to a smaller amount, the rest goes back into the budgeting process, which decreases cuts.”

She said the money would be more exclusive, without excluding anyone, on a first-come, first-served basis.

A College Democrats club request for $2,225 was denied last week to fly in a Parkland school shooting victim to speak.

Ski and Board Club was one club that was allocated money at the end of January. 

Treasurer Isa Lanthaler said her officers are preparing for this year’s fourth annual Rail Jam, slated for Feb. 23. 

Lanthaler said that the club’s previous officers neglected to submit a budget for this year. 

Under the proposed guidelines, she would’ve been unable to acquire funding for their event.

“The last few years, we used (emergency allocations) for Rail Jam. I’m trying to change that.”

Lanthaler said she asked for, and received, about $1,750, which is half the emergency allocation pool available for the rest of the semester.

She said she’s already started budgeting for next year.

It was announced at the last January student government meeting that Cheer Team was allocated about $3,850 for transportation to their annual competition in Daytona, Florida.

Cheer President Emily Kaczmarek said that their request was unanimously approved.

“It was very critical we got this approved by (senators), as this is very important to us to be able to get to and from nationals to be able to represent (Pitt-Johnstown) and Pitt as a whole and compete among the best.”

Albert said that Cheer members requested money to make up for a routine budget cut last April. 

Kaczmarek said that the team has spirit sales and raise money every year to help offset the trip’s cost.

Concrete Canoe President Rick Orr said that, when club members budget, they get enough money to cover the cost of their regional competitions.

“If we win at regionals, we must (emergency allocate) to cover the cost of nationals. If the new changes are approved, we would no longer be able to attend nationals…nationals allows us to make a name for ourselves,” Orr said.