The Silly Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Silly Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Silly Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

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Clubs Adjust to SABC Challenges

Lincoln Center club leaders share their experiences with requesting and earning funding from the Student Budget Activities Committee
As+more+on-campus+activities+are+approved%2C+the+amount+of+funding+available+for+distribution+decreases.
OWAMI MASIYANDIMA-MLOTSHWA
As more on-campus activities are approved, the amount of funding available for distribution decreases.

The Student Activities Budget Committee (SABC) is struggling to allocate funding due to rising inflation rates and the expansion of on-campus activities, according to Christina Frankovic-Sepsi, director of the Office for the Student Involvement (OSI).

SABC — a student committee operating within the United Student Government at Lincoln Center (USGLC) — works alongside OSI to review requests for funding and budget items submitted from student clubs on campus. According to Frankovic-Sepsi, the committee allocates funds for clubs on an as-needed basis through the use of the student activity fee, a $105 semesterly charge included in the tuition bill. 

Frankovic-Sepsi noted that Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) has begun exploring an increase to the activity fee, which is the source of funding for OSI and SABC. The process for determining the fee increase would require USGLC to host a referendum vote among the student body.

“Clubs don’t get great funding, and it’s frustrating for CAB that we can’t use all of our funding.”Emily LeHane, FCLC ’25 and president of CABLC

Student clubs requesting funds must meet SABC guidelines that stipulate allocation criteria, what to do with surplus budgets, and funding restrictions. 

According to Bianca Ortega, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’25, chair of SABC and USGLC treasurer, Lincoln Center club leaders have reported mixed experiences with the committee’s efficacy in disbursing funds. 

Regarding budget requests made from clubs at FLC, Ortega noted that SABC will only reject items that do not meet the committee’s guidelines for approval, detailed in 15-pages of the official club leader manual but has faced difficulties allocating money for all approved clubs’ requests, leading club leaders to share feelings of frustration. 

Emily LeHane, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’25 and president of the Campus Activities Board at FLC (CABLC), said that while she appreciates SABC and OSI’s efforts to support student clubs, the difference in funding between the CABLC and the Campus Activities Board (CAB) at Fordham Rose Hill frustrates her.

According to LeHane, her club advisers have asked her not to purchase AirPods as a prize for a bingo event, despite having the budget to do so, because smaller clubs were disapproved. She pointed out that the CAB at Rose Hill was able to give out larger prizes, including AirPods. 

“Clubs don’t get great funding, and it’s frustrating for CAB that we can’t use all of our funding,” she said.

The Fordham Ram reported that the Rose Hill CAB budget is $174,000 while, according to a listing in the 2024 SABC Guidelines, CABLC’s budget stands at $65,000.

LeHane noted that in comparison to other clubs at FLC, she is appreciative of the level of funding CABLC receives. She added that the activities board gets more funding through an annual allocated budget, rather than other clubs who request funding as needed per item or activity.

“We work with OSI, so we have more flexibility and a better experience,” Lehane said.

“We’re working with those club leaders who want them to succeed and want to improve as much as we can as well, it’s club leaders on the committee, so you want to see other club leaders succeed as well.”Bianca Ortega, GSBLC ’25, chair of SABC and USGLC treasurer

Tiffany Ng, FCLC ’26 and an E-Board member of Women in Finance and Economics (WIFE), shared that the club has had an “average” experience with SABC and added that WIFE appeals for more funds on need-basis.

“I think sometimes they are very picky about what to allocate for our budget, (like) how much money to give us,” she said. “Before joining a club at Fordham I thought everyone gets the same amount of money.” 

Ortega noted that SABC ensures that the rules for prizes are consistent and applied universally across clubs. According to the 2024 guidelines, SABC allows a maximum of a $75 value for first place prizes offered in club competitions and similar events. 

“We don’t encourage or discourage clubs from using certain vendors, picking certain items, or spending their money in any certain way,” she said.

Tessa Erbe, FCLC ’25 and president of Prism, said that while SABC plays an important role in facilitating club operations, the relationship between the board and Prism isn’t perfect.

“SABC is a little bit more removed because we’re submitting the budgets to them,” they said. “And then we just hear back from them, but there isn’t a lot of communication between (SABC and Prism).”

According to Ortega, because SABC is student-run, there is only so much the organization can do.

“We don’t control whether an event happens, even if the budget did or didn’t get approved,” Ortega said. “We’re working with those club leaders who want them to succeed and want to improve as much as we can as well, it’s club leaders on the committee, so you want to see other club leaders succeed as well.”

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ANDREW ARMOUR, Staff Writer
OWAMI MASIYANDIMA-MLOTSHWA, Assistant Photo Editor

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