Pierce hosts a collection of extracurricular activities each semester. Events such as the film festival, speech tournament, Cinco de Mayo and Day of Politics are funded, at least partially, by the Associated Students Organization (ASO).
However, a small box on a form may result in changes to many of those events.
Due to the new Student Information System (SIS) enacted last spring semester, Pierce students have an option to not pay the ASO fee. As a result, the lack of payments has put a strain on ASO’s budget.
“What’s under constraint right now is the contingency amount that we have to spend on more finance requests that come in,” said Matthew Aguilera, ASO treasurer. “That’s what has been lowered because of the new option on the SIS portal that allows students to opt out of the ASO fee. We have to be somewhat conscientious in terms of what we allot to specific requestors, especially for this semester.”
Requestors, usually clubs or departments, submit proposals to be approved by the ASO Senate and Finance Committee. If approved, full or partial funding is provided for the event. However, due to ASO’s limited budget, fewer requestors will receive approval for their campaigns.
Most returning requestors will have to compromise with the negotiated funding passed by the ASO senate. In comparison, newer requestors will not face the issue of partial funding, but the uncertainty if they will receive funding at all.
“We have all those pre-commitments that are consistent and that departments always come back to fund them again to make an annual thing,” said Efren Lopez, ASO president. “And obviously with the smaller budget, it’s unfortunate we have to cut some of those events that consistently happen.”
Clubs that depend on ASO for funding will see a decrease in financial support, with funds being allocated to events that have been in the budget since last spring.
Despite the reduction of financial aid from ASO, this new relationship will prompt clubs to utilize the fundraising training offered to them at the beginning of the semester.
This training is led by Associate Vice President of Administrative Services Bruce Rosky and other head faculty members. The fundraising instruction is meant to help clubs better understand the fundraising process.
Topics covered in the training include how to fill out various fundraising forms, different techniques to fundraise and what can or cannot be sold on campus. The tools and knowledge clubs need to successfully fundraise and develop their own budget are provided during this training.
“Every time a club comes to ask for money, we try get them towards that path of learning how to fundraise and learning how to find sponsors,” said Kosar Afsari, ASO club council president. “There’s only so much that ASO can do. At the end of the day they need to find their own budget. Even if they come to ask for money, they ask for certain amounts that sometimes sound too big they get rejected.”