The UNM Student Fee Review Board has made changes to the guidelines for organizations requesting funding for the new school year.
The deadline for student organizations to submit their applications for funding has been pushed forward to Sept. 5, as part of a compromise set forth over the summer by UNM President Robert Frank.
In a joint statement on Friday with ASUNM President Rachel Williams, GPSA President Texanna Martin said the two groups worked together over the summer to make changes that would adhere to the new guidelines.
“Normally this process happens in the spring, so what we had to do was expedite it so it can happen in the fall,” Martin said. “Basically, I think [the changes are] just to be in alignment with the new budget processes that the University is putting forth.”
Many other dates in the new SFRB timeline have been pushed forward a few months into the fall, including the final recommendations made to the Budget Leadership Team.
In light of the accelerated timeline for the SFRB to make decisions, there have also been changes to the application process.
Organizations seeking funding will now have to fill out an Executive Summary, laying out the amount of money being requested and specifics about how the funds will be used to benefit students.
Williams said the summary should be about a page long, and should be an argument for why the organization deserves a share of student fees.
“What are you asking for? If you are asking for an increase, why? Can you justify it? Explain how this is going to benefit the students,” she said.
Martin and Williams said they have taken initiative over the summer to reach out and explain these changes to affected groups, and have visited many organizations that have historically applied for SFRB funding.
Some of these organizations include KUNM, el Centro de la Raza and the Native American Student Association.
“Overall the changes have just been really good for us, to go around and meet all of the units that are applying and get face-to-face interaction,” Williams said. “It’s been really important to us.”
Once all applications are submitted to the SFRB, they will be posted on sfrb.unm.edu for all students to access.
Starting Oct. 13 students can attend forums with this new information in order to ask questions of SFRB members.
The student forums will be held in the SUB Atrium and will be open to all students, so that they can find out where their student fees are going.
“It gives them an opportunity to see these applications also, so it’s not just us looking,” Martin said.
So far there is no word of whether these changes will affect the amount of funding that any group will receive. SFRB members will leave it to the application process to decide if there will be any major changes, Williams said.
“We have no idea on who is planning on increasing, who is planning on decreasing, or what the applications look like,” she said.
Policy 1310 from the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual has also been newly revised with the addition of the Ethics and Conflicts of Interest section.
This new section states, “SFRB members, whether appointed, alternate, or non-voting members … must avoid real or potential conflicts of interest that could interfere with the impartial performance of their duties.”
Student organizations that are seeking funding can turn in their applications at the ASUNM office in Room 1016 of the SUB. Hearings are scheduled to take place in early October.