They’re our funds — so use them


We students have money burning a hole in our theoretical pocket. Or, more accurately, the pocket of SGA in the form of our student activity funds.

Every semester, undergraduate students shell out $150 for the Student Activity Fee (SAF). But where does that money go?

Besides a 4% delegation fee, all funds collected through the SAF are funneled directly towards the Student Government Association (SGA) to be allocated to students throughout the semester. It is the Student Activity Fee, after all.

Whether you’ve known it or not, the Registered Student Organizations and University-Sponsored Organizations you see across campus, on flyers or are involved with have the opportunity to reap the benefits of the fee. While portions of it go towards the Student Programming Board, Campus Publications, Greek Council, Trinity Diversity Council and more, the remainder is put towards the funding requests of RSOs.

But this semester, that remaining portion hasn’t gone many places. At this week’s SGA meeting on Oct. 6, SGA president Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh and vice president Nasim Salehitezangi brought up the issue of few incoming funding requests and the Student Activity Fee’s stagnant nature this semester. Besides a handful of club-sponsored events and activities, little money has been requested from SGA.

Senators on the finance and outreach committees voiced ideas in spurring student interest in requesting funds, but it’s going to take more than just SGA encouraging requests for these funds to be put to good use. When you see a poster, flyer or email reminding you or your student organization of the SAF’s purpose, don’t ignore it.

Protection of that fund has been a topic of debate in editorials written by Trinitonian editorial boards in the past, and likely one of other curious students. Although the funds gathered by the SAF are meant to be for students, there is no explicit statement that the money must go towards student organizations alone. If we don’t put the funds meant to be our own to use, then who will?

As easy as it may be to dismiss the small purchases made here and there for your organizations and take the dent to your own wallet, the money compiled in the SAF belongs to the students of Trinity. It is there because you paid the fee and because it’s meant to go back to you and your interests; your ventures.

So, don’t just let it sit there — because who else is going to use it, if not the students it’s meant to support?