Casey Payseno has some money to give away to students. As the co-coordinator of the Student Organization Committee, Payseno worked with his committee members this summer to meet some new regulations set forth by the Student Fee Committee, which will allow the SOC to continue their work: funding student groups that might not otherwise receive funds.
Student Organization Committee funds released
Casey Payseno has some money to give away to students.
As the co-coordinator of the Student Organization Committee, Payseno worked with his committee members this summer to meet some new regulations set forth by the Student Fee Committee, which will allow the SOC to continue their work: funding student groups that might not otherwise receive funds.
The SOC is a student group running under the organizational umbrella of the SFC. It receives its funds from the SFC and distributes those funds to its member groups–primarily smaller groups, as well as student groups that are in their first two years of operations. It oversees approximately 100 groups.
Last year’s SFC placed the SOC’s $66,140 operating budget into a designated reserve account, there to remain until Payseno and the rest of the SOC completed a policy manual for the organization and attended viewpoint neutrality training.
Similar to ethics training in the workplace, the goal of viewpoint neutrality training is to assure that all funds will be allocated objectively, regardless of personal beliefs held by organization members or expressed by student groups.
Over the summer, Payseno and his team at the SOC worked to meet all the new regulations, and succeeded, with the last of the training completed on Oct. 8. At the Oct. 3 SFC meeting, Payseno presented the new SOC policy manual to the committee and the SFC released the funds accordingly, enabling the funds to be distributed to groups.
The new policy manual and regulations mean a few key differences in the SOC’s operations.
“One of our goals this year is to become more transparent in how we interact with groups,” said Payseno.
In other words, the SOC is now more accessible to groups that need help, either in designing policies and regulations or in abiding by policies enforced by the SOC.
Once all of the group budget requests for this year have been received, said Payseno, the SOC can begin determining how to allocate the now freed money. In the past, Payseno said, the SOC would keep a percentage of the funds in reserve to meet the budget requests for emerging groups in the winter or spring.
If an existing group needed more money halfway through the year, “traditionally they would come to us and ask for money, and we would grant that request on a case-by-case basis,” depending on how much money was left in reserve, said Payseno.
The new regulations in the SOC manual, however, allow groups to receive their entire yearly budget amount in the fall, making requests for more money unnecessary.
“Hopefully groups will have more control over how they plan their year,” Payseno said, “rather than wondering if they’re going to receive more money in the spring or not.”
Payseno also hopes that the new budget process will eliminate any leftover funds at the end of the year. If the SOC can successfully distribute all of its funds over the school year, it makes it easier to ask for more money the next year, he said, “and all student organizations can use more money.”
Student groups seeking funding from the SOC have until Oct. 17 to submit their annual budget requests and timelines. Also new this year is the introduction of quarterly reports, to be submitted each quarter by each group, detailing the activities each group held every term.
Once the quarterlies have been submitted, Payseno said, the SOC’s budget committee will randomly select 20 organizations and meet with them to determine “what policies are working, what aren’t, what hurdles they had and what we can do to help them.”
The end result, he said, should be an increase in the “user-friendliness” of operating a student group here at PSU.