Student organizations to utilize electronic application system for funding requests
Student organizations requesting finances will no longer have to hand-submit a 20-page packet to the desk of Student Association Comptroller Stephen DeSalvo.
In preparation for this semester’s budget season, SA has created a new electronic application system for student groups with the goal of ameliorating the inefficiencies of the past.
“It should be a very easy process,” DeSalvo said. “I think it’s a win-win for everybody.”
The new application, which will be used exclusively for semester budgets and special programming requests, will be accessible through OrgSync. All registered student organizations in good standing at Syracuse University are already required to have an account with the service, he said.
The cost of OrgSync is also split between SA and the Office of Student Activities, making it the logical choice for hosting the applications, as it possesses this capability, DeSalvo said.
But this is not the only way the new system takes costs into account.
Often, DeSalvo said, student groups come to their budget meetings without applications printed out and end up using SA’s paper and ink. However, even if this is done beforehand, printing this paperwork can use a significant amount of a student’s printing quota allotment.
Finance Board members will now add their recommendations for either approving or denying a budget online, instead of sending out letters to each group.
Though budgets and special programming requests will be filed online, expenditure and contingency requests will still use paper applications, as they are easier to process in this form and are filed much less frequently, he said.
The comptroller and the Finance Board will be able to review budgets as soon as SA’s adviser in the Office of Student Activities approves them, making the board’s Friday meetings run more smoothly and efficiently.
“This new, electronic system is simply a more convenient way of completing the budget application part. Much of the process will remain the same.”
Lindsey Colegrove, University Union president
Student groups will no longer have to go to the comptroller’s office to retrieve a copy of their submitted budget because they will be stored online as well, DeSalvo said.
“Groups are now going to be able to look at their old budgets that they’ve submitted maybe 10 years ago, just by going online to their organization’s folder and looking at the budgets they’ve submitted,” he said.
Budgets will also no longer be rejected based on the technicality of a missing signature, DeSalvo said. The form cannot be submitted without initialing on the computer and a confirmation email will be sent out after its completion, as well.
If a budget is rejected, groups will have the ability to update the form and resubmit it online, he said. Special programming requests that are denied work differently, as they are voted on weekly and require a group to resubmit an entirely new application.
President Dylan Lustig said SA’s previous budget meeting went smoothly and that he’s “very optimistic” about the new system, despite not having a significant hands-on role with its creation.
Still, student groups should be patient with the system the first time around, Lustig said.
“Everyone should expect kinks having to be worked out,” he said. “Understand in the future it will be something that’ll be fixed.”
Lindsey Colegrove, president of SU’s official programming board University Union, said in an email that she believes this new system will make the budget process more “streamlined” and environmentally friendly.
Colegrove was able to participate in the budget process for UU last year, doing everything from receiving training about the application to actually completing the paperwork.
As a tier-four organization that can request amounts greater than $25,000, UU is often approached by other groups and asked to co-sponsor their events during the budget process, she said.
The fact that there will be less chance a budget will be rejected on technical grounds is a relief, she said, but ultimately the method of applying for funds does not differ significantly from last semester.
“This new, electronic system is simply a more convenient way of completing the budget application part,” she said. “Much of the process will remain the same.”
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