One of the many principal aspects to running a club at Wheaton College is having a treasurer to manage finances. Recently, there has been a funding crisis for clubs on campus. Clubs have not been able to gain enough money to host events that would both promote their respective organizations as well as raise awareness about the topics of their events.
Each year, there is a standard funding of $100 that all clubs receive, and official event funding is also offered by Wheaton, but specifically to SGA-approved clubs. As stated on Wheaton’s website, to receive such funding, the club must itemize its expenses, provide confirmed costs rather than value ranges and have completed proper research and preparation when applying. Most importantly, the club must not overspend the allocation of money it is given, which would be a violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of the SGA bylaws. There are, however, other discretionary funds that are available to clubs if they do not receive official funding.
Despite the availability of official funding, some clubs are still low on grants. It would seem, as said by Christian Massé ’20, the treasurer of the Philosophy Club, that this trouble is because SGA is having “difficulty predicting how much revenue is generated from tuitions…and what costs are to be expected from the clubs outside their standard yearly budget.” He added that it sounds as though there was a “growing difficulty with communicating with current clubs and new forming clubs on what expenses they would like to request funding for and what SGA has budgeted, whilst trying to guarantee the yearly standard fund for each club.”
Such attempts to solve this issue have been implemented in the 2018-19 budget request form, which asks about clubs’ anticipated fundraisers, and how much funding they expect to request from SGA. “They are trying to improve [their] logistic and prediction skills in an attempt to better prepare for next year’s budget,” said Massé while reflecting upon the budget request form.
With the growing number of students attending Wheaton and a growing interest in having a variety of clubs available for new and current students, the need for club funding will only increase. When countered by the continuing efforts by SGA to improve its processes of allotting funding—though it may take a few trials and errors—it seems that the club economy at Wheaton will eventually regain balance.