The ASO is encouraging older clubs to fundraise for themselves because money will be directed toward newer events and organizations, according to treasurer Mher Mkrtchian
He also said that the goal of this decision is to help new clubs establish themselves and host different events.
“We have a budget, but some clubs put on the same events every year or every semester,” Mkrtchian said. “We want to make sure that new clubs have enough funding so they can bring new events that Pierce hasn’t seen before.”
Mkrtchian said that the board is trying to keep track of their funding.
“Anyone who looks at the budget can notice that there are limits,” Mkrtchian said. “As the student population grows, so does the need for money.”
Mkrtchian said that ASO is encouraging older clubs to fundraise independently.
“Fundraising is part of the club experience,” he said.
ASO President Amir Haghi agrees with Mkrtchian. He said that he thinks a big part of this decision is to help older clubs become more independent.
Haghi said that although the board wants established clubs to find ways to fundraise their events, they will still have access to some of the organization’s funding.
“We aren’t exactly taking away funds from older clubs,” Haghi said. “If a club comes to us asking for funds for an event that has been done before, we want them to try fundraise as much as they can. For example, if they can raise 50 percent of what they need, we could give them the other half.”
According to ASO Vice President Saman Tehrani, most of the new clubs aren’t aware that the board is available to support them morally and financially.
“This gives new clubs a chance to get a good start,” Tehrani said. “Giving them priority, in a sense, gives them a chance, because they may not be aware of the resources they had available.”
Tehrani also said that she hopes that the older clubs will be on board with the decision because it will teach them skills they will need outside of school.
“I would like to see them not rely on ASO funding for every activity,” Tehrani said. “This will allow clubs to learn the business side, and everything can be fair.”
Dean of Student Engagement and co-advisor for ASO Juan Carlos Astorga said he also thinks that this decision is business-friendly and will help the ASO board and students who are in clubs learn how to budget their money.
Astorga also said that not only does ASO provide funds for clubs, but for academic departments as well. He said that funding requests from departments totaled to about $340,000, while the budget itself is $165,000.
“Because the requests for funds don’t match up with the budget, we have to start making decisions,” Astorga said.
He also said that he did not have a say in the decision, but he gave suggestions to the board when they discussed their options on how to manage the budget.
“In the past, we gave out money as it was requested,” Astorga said. “What I’m trying to do is get the ASO to really consider is to budget money for specific areas.”
Astorga also said one of his long-term goals as a co-advisor for ASO is for the club to start a programming board to plan events for students to take part in.
“We can start thinking about increasing student engagement and creating a more vibrant student activities center so students can actually see where their ASO fee is going,” Astorga said. “It might mean that we won’t be able to fund everything, but it means that we’re doing a much better job of being good stewards to the student community.”
Haghi said that though this is the decision on the budget for this year’s ASO clubs, it could change in the future.
“The board changes every year,” Haghi said. “The next board may not want to continue this, but it’s what the treasurer and the board have decided for now.”