By Jordan Payne
The Undergraduate Senate will implement new funding procedures by winter quarter to divide the current Standard Grants system into two categories: Standard Grants and Quick Grants. This will make for three separate categories of student group funding total in addition to the existing Annual Grants process, which will remain unchanged.
Standard Grants will consist of predictable expenses, as well as any expenses over $1,000. Any funding requests that exceed $6,000 will still go through the Annual Grants process, while funding requests below $1,000 can be awarded on a weekly basis via the Quick Grants procedure. Appropriations Committee Chair Gabe Rosen ’19 gave an example of a Standard Grants request under the new process..
“Let’s say that there’s a group that they know they’re holding some kind of conference or some kind of big speaker series in the winter,” Rosen said. “They have a rough estimate based on previous years’ costs for a similar event, or they have done research into what the costs are expected to be. They know that that’s happening; it’s above $1,000. They can file that funding request during this quarter, and the deadline for this quarter’s Standard Grants [is] Nov. 30th.”
According to Rosen and Appropriations Committee Deputy Chair Katie Hufker ‘18, all groups with foreseeable expenses should try to submit an application through the Standard Grants system, regardless of whether the funding request exceeds $1,000.
“Even if the totality of cost is under $1,000 for that event, if it’s predictable — they know it’s going to happen ahead of time — it can provide them with a greater sense of financial security as well if they apply ahead of time,” said Rosen.
Once groups submit funding requests on the website myGroups, the financial officer must attend an office hours session of the appropriations committee, which can be scheduled through an online calendar. If no one is able to attend these office hours, a representative must give e-mail notice to the appropriations committee providing application details and justifications for the requested money.
Upon receiving all the Standard Grants applications for a given quarter, the appropriations committee will make its decisions and offer recommendations to the full Senate, which will then vote on the funding decisions.
Quick Grants are to be used for unpredictable small expenses, which will now be considered on a week-to-week basis, rather than a quarterly basis. Quick Grants must fall under $1,000. Unlike Standard Grants, the Appropriations Committee will have full discretion over Quick Grants funding decisions. Rather than present recommendations to the full Senate, as with Standard Grants, the Appropriations Committee will simply announce its decisions regarding Quick Grants funding requests.
The Senate hopes that these changes will allow it to fund groups more equitably, as senators will be able to anticipate and prioritize funding requests for the whole quarter. The appropriations committee also hopes that it will be able to avoid overspending by planning in advance.
“Their application will now be reviewed as part of a much larger pool of all the different Standard Grant applications that we can then parse through with a bird’s-eye view of the funding needs for the quarter,” said Rosen. “That means we can operate in a much fairer and equitable way.”
The deadline for groups to submit applications to the Standard Grants pool for winter quarter — particularly those with funding requests that are predictable or likely to exceed $1,000 — is Nov. 30 at 11:59 PM.
Contact Jordan Payne at jpayne1 ‘at’ stanford.edu.