USG to give clubs and organizations more than $88,000

The Undergraduate Student Government will give more than $88,000 to St. Thomas clubs and organizations this semester, as USG approved its spring budget allocations Sunday, March 7.

Among the top recipients of USG funding are Hana, the Rock Climbing Club, GMSA, SHINE and KUST.

Brady Narloch, USG vice president for financial affairs, outlined an addendum to the process of evaluating club budget requests, attempting to make the process more “transparent, fair and consistent.”

USG approved conference and competition funding requests for club hockey, men’s volleyball, SHINE, Black Empowerment Student Alliance and KUST.

Club Hockey will receive $1,000 for a trip to play at Illinois State University, while men’s volleyball will receive $1,093 to compete in a two day conference tournament in Fargo, N.D.

SHINE was allocated $1,800 for a mission trip to Birmingham, Ala. Black Empowerment Student Alliance will receive $1,800 to attend the Pan African Student Leadership Conference at Mankato State University. KUST will receive $1,800 to attend the South by Southwest music festival.

Circle of Giving and Tommie Transfer and Friends both received unanimous USG approval and are now official St. Thomas clubs.

Circle of Giving is a club to give students the tools to design and host their own service projects.

Tommie Transfer and Friends is a social club to bring together and assess the needs of transfer students.

Brent Fischer can be reached at

17 Replies to “USG to give clubs and organizations more than $88,000”

  1. I don’t understand why Rock Climbing Club is always among the top recepients of USG funding. This seems like a club that caters to the interests of very few students yet takes up a large portion of total club funding. I don’t know how many active members are in the club, but I’m willing to bet there are clubs with more members that would arguably be more deserving of a large portion of USG funding. As far as I’m concerned, if UST doesn’t have the funds to sustain a theater program on campus or as a joint program with St. Kates, then we don’t have the funds to subsidize student’s rock climbing hobbies.

  2. @John: Since USG funds are generally allocated on the basis of service hours, membership size, and budget-usage (especially on non-food items), I’d imagine the Rock Climbing Club is well-funded mainly by virtue of its size, and partly by virtue of the fact that it is one of relatively few clubs on campus that spends money on something other than pizza. In short, I’ll take your bet and raise you.

    I’m not part of the budget process, so all of the above is basically wild speculation, but I do know for a fact that the USG Club Fund has absolutely no connection to the theater department. It comes from student activity fees through USG. Theater comes from tuition through the College of Arts and Sciences. Bottom line: USG couldn’t assign its club money to the theater program if it wanted to. Not that the theater program doesn’t deserve more support than it’s getting. It’s just odd for you to criticize USG for it instead of, say, Academic VP Sue Huber. (Incidentally, I heard some hopeful things about the theater program today at the SOTUni forum.)

    Now I’m gonna check my email, cross my fingers, and hope that the Quiz Bowl team received its modest request! Peace.

  3. You should probably understand how many people are in a club before you start stating that the club caters to very few. We have over 50 people a week that also pay dues, then take the time to drive over to Vertical Endeavors to go climbing. We have probably 30 students that come consistently and another pool of over 120 students that come a couple times a semester and over 300 people on the email list. If you would like to talk about a theatre program, first you have to understand that the money is allocated from a different source and then you have to understand that there are many more people interested in Rock Climbing than there are in theatre as there were only 2 people on campus with a theatre related degree, hence the reason the program was shut down to appease the greater St. Thomas community with a new sports complex. We obviously get the money allocated to us because we have a consistent group of students that come and take part in our club, otherwise we would not need the funds. Unlike other clubs, we actually use our funds strictly for our programming compared to other clubs that spend on food and have extra money leftover at the end of the semester so they go out to a fancy dinner or find some other trivial way to spend their remaining budget so they dont get

  4. screwed over on funding for the next semester. We have the interest of many students on campus. Maybe instead of complaining about it you should get off the couch, come out and see why the Rock Climbing Club continues to be a top funded club semester after semester.

  5. What does the rock climbing club do for UST? I can name other clubs that provide publicity and recognition for UST in the community and throughout the country.

  6. Come on, are you kidding? Why do so many people seem to believe that just by virtue of being a club at this school, they deserve whatever budget they request? You’re not going to receive all this allocated money without putting work into your club and specifically the programming that coincides with your club mission. If you want more money, then do a better job at recruiting members, getting involved and actually DOING something besides offer free pizza to students who will only show up to 1 or 2 meetings and find out that there is actually no substance to the club.

    So in defense of the Rock Climbing Club (who I have no affiliation with): don’t criticize their efforts for making this campus a better place to be at. They must be doing something worth while for students if they draw 30 people consistently. If you’re unhappy that your organization didn’t get enough money, then lose this attitude of entitlement and do something about it by working harder to make more of an impact with your club. It will probably make this campus a better place at the same time.

  7. Jerad, the RCC put together a bake sale this last monday in which we sold multiple batches of brownies, muffins and banana bread outside of MHC, standing in the cold for about 3 hours. The proceeds were donated to efforts to help out Haiti in its current situation. Habitat for Humanity received that money I believe yesterday. On top of that, the club offers the many students that come to vertical endeavors a chance to unplug themselves, relax and socialize with a group of people they dont see everyday. On top of that, it is facilitating a different way to work out with the current situation of the gyms/weight rooms, etc that are under construction.
    I recommend anyone reading this to come out with us and try climbing, get a great workout and meet new people in the process. As president of the club, I am open to any ideas that may help out our community we live in.

  8. I honestly did not mean to offend any of the members or administrators of the Rock Climbing Club. I guess I spoke too soon regarding the number of members. The article is vague so I was unaware of the size of the group. 50 dues paying members (less that 1% of the 5,000+ UST undergrads) still does not seem all that large. I do not know the volume of active members that other clubs generate, so if someone has this data it would be interesting to find out where “RCC” ranks.
    I probably was wrong to single out RCC here, but it just happened to be mentioned in the article and I have recalled seeing it in previous similar articles. Looking through the list of UST clubs, I would have the same reaction to “Anime Club” or “Table Top Gaming Club.” These seem like hobbies that the rest of the university should not be subsidizing.

    As for funding – I do not care if USG can only allocate it’s funds to clubs. Perhaps my problem then is with the funding process. The money is all coming out of one big pot so what difference does it make which group it gets channelled through? My point is that the joint UST/SCU theater program would cost St. Thomas virtually NOTHING. St. Kate’s has volunteered to fund the program and is just looking for a steady supply of male actors from…

  9. St. Thomas. The student activity fee is too high if clubs are being overfunded as Cameron describes. Perhaps clubs should be rewarded for not spending all of their budget money in a given semester/year, rather than face the loss of that funding in the next period. One final word, I am not in the theater program and I have no affiliation to the theater dept. or club. I’m not sure on this, but I believe there are more than two students at UST in the program, counting majors and minors. Again, I don’t have those facts, but I remember reading articles here that stated something above 10 students. And remember, the program does not exist solely for those majoring or minoring in theater. There are a great many students who take an introductory theater class to fulfill the fine arts requirement and I think this should remain an option even if the theater major goes away.

    James- what have you heard about the future of theater at UST?

  10. @John Gummerson
    I can understand your point, but I will respectfully say that your argument regarding the theater program is irrelevant. There are some things that frustrate me about USG also, but they do an OK job of allocating the Student Activity Fee paid by all students. This fee is paid and then dispersed based on the size of clubs, relevance, and community involvement to a certain extent. The decision to cut the theater program is unfortunate, but the Student Activity fee is not associated with keeping academic programs here at St. Thomas. They are for students to have an extra-curricular activity based on their interests and needs. If you are a student here, your activity fee is being allocated to clubs for use. If you do not feel as if you are being represented, you have the right to start your own club.

  11. I jumped into this too late to clear the air. Please contact me at if you have any questions or concerns relating to the Student Activity Fee (SAF) or USG’s involvement with it. Otherwise, you can consult Tommie Media’s search archives for at least one recent story explaining this very issue.

    Also of note, USG takes the distribution and management of SAF funds very seriously, and we are very sensitive to all student concerns occuring within the scope of our influence.

  12. John G,
    The club, as it currently stands, has 90 paying members, 134 registered that have climbed a few times and 300+ in the email list. Whether thats 1% of the school’s population or not I frankly dont care, 90 paying students that have one common interest is more than enough to have a club/group.
    I am sorry if you are frustrated about the activity fee and how it is spent, or maybe how USG gauges the need of funding for each club.
    I do think its irresponsible of you jumping to conclusions about what we do with our allocated funding without first doing some research about the club.
    Whether its Anime, Tabletop games, rock climbing, BEAST, SHINE the university has given us (yes, all students at UST) the resources so that we can have clubs for our interests. If one of the existing clubs doesnt interest you, you may start your own.
    I think the RCC is doing a decent job at not pointlessly spending money. I can tell you we have spent zero dollars in food in the last couple of years, however we usually budget for it. The reason for which we dont ever buy food is because so much money ends up in activities so we have to give up other things to continue our usual programming.

  13. A couple points. Terse not because I’m trying to be curt or rude, but because the character limit is tight.

    (1) The student activities fund is NOT part of the same pot. Seriously: it’s a separate fee, billed separately from tuition, at the rate of $211/year. This is up slightly from $193 in ’08-’09. That money is NOT tuition money. Additionally, compared to tuition, the SAF is quite modest.

    (2) TTGC and Anime Club are *also* thriving organizations and centers of on-campus life for dozens of students, with expenditures per member far below what each member pays into the school through the SAF. These clubs are appropriate and *typical*; see or or even .

    (3) Mr. Joseph Kreitzer reported at SOTUni that Academic Affairs is currently in discussions with St. Kate’s over theater. UST admins support a continued program; Dr. Sue Huber (president, Academic Affairs) is currently waiting to hear back from SKU about whether the program should continue as an academic program or be considered a student activity (which would affect who administers the program at each school). This is what we were told.

    Hope that helps!

  14. Thank you all for enlightening me on the Rock Climbing Club. I was clearly misguided in thinking that very few students were involved and that it constituted reckless spending on the part of the university. I concede “defeat” on this point. Clearly there is interest in the club and I guess this is what the student activity fee is for.

    The problem I see is much bigger than any one club. If the events that Cameron described, clubs being overfunded and spending excess funds on extravegant dinners/events at the end of the semester, are indeed happening then this is something i feel needs to be addressed. Brady- as a representive of USG, I thank you for taking time to respond to these concerns. Businesses everywhere have faced the problem of what happens to excess funds at the end of a given period, and an episode of “The Office” was even based on this. One system that has been proven to work is to somehow reward or incentivize organizations to come in under budget. The current USG system seems to make no incentive to not spend every dollar a particular club is awarded. In fact, the opposite is true, clubs are punished in the following year’s funding if all monies are not spent each period. We should work together to develop a better system for the good of everyone…

  15. I would agree with this point however there are still drawbacks then to the clubs that legitimately need their full budget each semester. It frustrates me though when I hear of the clubs that have the extra money that they go blow on extraneous things that are completely unnecessary.

  16. The vast majority of expenses for which clubs request funding do not vary significantly over the period of one semester. Therefore, a high starting balance in the subsequent semester is indicative of one or both of these things (ceteris paribus): a) the club has not done something it said it would do in the previous semester; or b) the club significantly overestimated its expenses in the previous semester. This is why allocations for the subsequent semester are adjusted to account for the starting balance.

    The business analogy isn’t applicable because clubs don’t have labor costs associated with their output.

  17. Hello All,

    What would be the downside to drastically reducing the activity fee? If the activity fee was 50$ Club fees could be increased to compensate for the loss of activity fee money. This way, any students who participate in a club will be putting their money directly to their activity, the same they would the activity fee. Any students who choose not to participate in a club (for whatever reason it may be) will save a few bucks, and wont need to worry about how their money is being redistributed. Essentially; Let the students who want to climb… pay for their climbing. Let the theater students, pay for their theater club. If they want more funding, they can do a fundraiser, or boost membership. The rest of us, can spend our money on our own interests. I don’t see how that could possibly be considered unfair. It isn’t the student body’s responsibility to fund all of these activities and it definitely isn’t the student body’s responsibility to buy little Caesars for convo hour meetings.

Comments are closed.