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SAFC reopens budget requests for the remainder of the spring semester

April 10, 2020

Student organizations can once again request funds for club activities despite the College’s move to remote learning, the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) announced on Tuesday in an email to club leaders.

Chair of the Treasury for Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) Charlotte Hall ’20 oversees the SAFC, which is responsible for allocating funds to student groups and organizations throughout the year. Hall said that with the transition to remote learning, both the SAFC and individual clubs have refocused their goals.

“This year will be different and there is a likelihood for there to be funds remaining,” affirmed Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze in a phone interview with the Orient.

The SAFC allocates the majority of its annual $810,000 sum to five groups on campus: the Entertainment Board, BSG, the Bowdoin Outing Club, the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good and Club Rowing, which leaves roughly 45 percent for other student groups’ expenses. At the moment, $15,000 remains in the SAFC budget.

In past years, the SAFC has always allocated all the funds in its budget. But this year, Hintze and the SAFC will work together to determine how any remaining funds will be used. Hintze is certain that the amount will not roll over to next year.

For the remaining months of this year, the left-over $15,000 will be available to student groups who wish to continue their activities in creative and adaptive ways. Hall suggested that some groups might start book clubs to help maintain community virtually.

“I think the 136 student organizations that we have are a great resource during this time to create a community for students and help keep them connected to the College,” Hintze said.

The SAFC has reopened the process for clubs to request funds and the first funding decisions will be made April 13. Only two student groups have requested funds so far—the Bowdoin Commons Podcast and the Beartones acapella group.

Typically, each time a student organization submits a funding request, it meets with the SAFC to explain its budget proposal. Now that the College is operating remotely, the SAFC has opted to send club leaders questions about their budget request over email instead of meeting in person.

The SAFC will also work with clubs that have operating budgets to determine funds for the next academic year. These allocations will not come from the remaining funds in the SAFC budget from this year.

The SAFC’s most pressing concern is the finalization of expenditures. To that end, Hall and the SAFC are collecting outstanding receipts from student groups to ensure that all expenses paid for by individual students are reimbursed before allocating the rest of the budget.

Hall is confident that the SAFC will work through these difficult times and “hope[s] that clubs will be understanding” of the changes.

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