Fickle funding for student societies

Lots of this happening at URSU right about now. Photo - Dan Moyle

Lots of this happening at URSU right about now. Photo – Dan Moyle

Students’ union slow to pay

The University of Regina Student Union (URSU) has recently made budget cuts, which have negatively affected some clubs on campus. The fees allotted to student groups, as stated on URSU’s website, indicate that each club is “entitled to apply for re-imbursement for eligible expenses related to events and activities for up to $200 per academic year.” This could be detrimental to beloved student-run groups on campus, should their funding fall through. The Carillon spoke to just a few representatives from student groups on campus that provided input on the matter.

An anonymous member of the Africa Students’ Society, when questioned about the funding their club has received from URSU, made their displeasure with the union very clear. They had the following to say:

“I wouldn’t say we’re not getting funding for events. We asked for our club funding in January for African Night. Every club is entitled to $200. However, I find that now it’s harder to receive funding. It’s the end of February and we still haven’t received our funding. I emailed Matthew [Mutschler, URSU Vice President of Operations and Finance] a few weeks ago and he said, ‘We don’t have your application form.’ It took him two weeks to reply back to me! Last week he told me that we have been approved, and now it’s just a waiting game.”

The Africa Students’ Society is not the first club to express their disappointment with the University’s student union. Another group on campus, who chose to remain anonymous, still hasn’t received funding for an upcoming event that they asked for at the beginning of the winter term. Now, halfway through the semester, this club has still not heard about their funding from URSU.

“I feel like there has been a lack of transparency between URSU and student clubs, which is worrisome,” said the anonymous representative. “We rely on the funding for URSU, and with the budget supposedly reaching its limit it makes me wonder where the money is going. I appreciate that URSU cares about student groups, but there should be communication between the union and the groups themselves. We still haven’t heard about the funding that was requested at the beginning of term, and I feel like they’re looking for any excuse to reject us just because of the limited budget.”

This student-run group relies on the funding of URSU for their annual events and with their next event looming, the member’s growing concern has escalated to the possibility of not receiving their promised $200.

URSU has a collection of students who have experienced less-than-favourable interactions with them, and the funding for the clubs demonstrates a lack of efficiency. One has to wonder why this organization struggles to keep up with the University’s club funding requests, and why they aren’t creating an open dialogue with the clubs themselves. Many students have come forward, calling for answers from the organization regarding their neglectful handling of funding requests, and communication with student groups and clubs.

Due to scheduling conflicts, the Carillon was unable to meet with Mr. Mutschler for official comment (we’ve been trying for the past three weeks), but the Carillon will bring you any new developments on the story.

1 comment

  1. Nobody 3 March, 2016 at 18:42

    Strange that people don’t want to speak out with their names attached to their quotes? I wonder what it is that’s scaring them… On another note, it seems URSU is pulling typical bureaucratic stalling methods on both the student clubs and the press. Not good.

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