The Student Assembly approved byline funding measures on Thursday for the groups ALANA, Haven and the Cornell Interfaith Council — with Alana’s funding almost doubling, Haven’s surging by 40 cents and Interfaith Council landing funding for the first time ever.
Byline funding serves as an avenue for organizations on campus to receive funding from the S.A. All funds come from the Student Activity Fee — a mandatory fee in the University billing statement to fund organizations on campus.
For an organization to receive funding from the Student Activity Fee, it needs to make a request to the S.A. appropriations committee, who can either approve or deny the request. Once a byline funding request is ratified by the committee, the request goes to the general S.A. for approval.
Out of the three byline funding requests, ALANA — an organization that seeks to provide support for minority students — received the biggest byline funding request of $15.00, almost double of the organization’s previous funding of $8.05.
In the byline report, the appropriations committee noted that it wished to see a “better formatted application” from ALANA, with clearer budget displays.
Moriah Adeghe ’21, vice president of finance and minority liaison at-large, acknowledged the large uptick, but said that ALANA had been operating on a surplus. Now that the surplus was gone, $15 was the amount the group needed in order to operate.
ALANA’s budget practices have been scrutinized in past years. In November 2013, the S.A. appropriations committee recommended slashing ALANA’s budget by $23,635, citing instances in which the organization had been fiscally irresponsible. Ultimately, the S.A. voted to give ALANA more funding than recommended by the appropriations committee.
Haven, Cornell’s LGBTQ student union, received a funding increase to $4.20 from its previous $3.80. The S.A. approved the request unanimously.
For the first time in its history, the Interfaith Council applied for byline funding and will receive $3.75 — amounting to around $55,000 per year, from 2020 to 2022. On Tuesday, the S.A. appropriations committee unanimously approved the CIC’s byline funding request, The Sun previously reported. The CIC is the first organization in the S.A.’s 2019 funding cycle to have never received any byline funding in the past.
S.A. President Joe Anderson ’20 said he was happy to see more organizations seek byline funding from the Student Activity Fee.
“It’s really exciting that new organizations are coming on to byline just because it means that the Student Activity Fee is doing better work,” Anderson said at the meeting. “It’s also important because this has been a historically not-talked about community on campus … I think that this is a wonderful first step.”
Along with byline funding requests, the S.A. also unanimously passed a resolution that would create an ex-officio seat on the S.A. for the Multicultural Greek and Fraternal Council. The MGFC will now have an ex-officio member who will serve a semester-long term in the S.A.
At the previous S.A. meeting, some members raised concerns over how the S.A. decides which groups on campus to obtain representation on the S.A. and how the MGFC could appoint a new ex-officio member each semester, as the organization grapples with low membership.