Student Organizations Committee (SOC) Coordinator Alden Chatfield ’18 recently created change within the allocations process to make sure clubs have access to adequate funding in a timely manner.
SOC is the governing body responsible for distributing funds obtained from the student body fee to all student organizations on campus. Under the leadership of former SOC Coordinator Piper Riley ’16, SOC allocated over $750,000 to over 100 organizations. Under Riley’s tutelage, Chatfield gained valuable insight and understanding of the allocations process. Chatfield held tenure on a subcommittee designated to rewrite and update the bylaws within SOC, allowing him to maximize efficiency and productivity within the organization.
As he was stepping into his role as SOC Coordinator in Fall 2016, Chatfield felt confident in managing the complicated system of club appeals.
“What I did, which is different than what had happened in previous years, was encourage clubs who were on the fence about appeals to go to the Finance Committee and get a grant through them,” Chatfield said. This allowed SOC greater flexibility in distributing money during the allocations process.
After club appeals were over, Chatfield entered an advisory role on cabinet.
“As Coordinator, my role is pretty specific and constrained to two events in the year, which are appeals and allocations,” Chatfield said. “Beyond that point, I am largely an advisor for other members of the ASLC Cabinet in regards to clubs. I work very closely with Marissa Valdez [’18], our treasurer, and the Director of Student Activities Jason Feiner.”
The biggest change Chatfield made to SOC involved shifting the due date for allocation applications to earlier in the spring semester.
“Previously, applications were due after spring break in April,” Chatfield said. “Applications are now due March 24, which is the Friday before spring break.”
Chatfield expressed concern over club leaders procrastinating on their applications. “Some club leaders may choose to put [the application process] off because they are busy and writing a budget is not the most exciting thing in the world. Our process necessitates a required review session SOC before [a club] can submit [their] application.”
By having the applications due before spring break, Chatfield hopes clubs will be better prepared and organized for their meetings with SOC. The earlier application due date does not conflict with finals or theses presentations. This is something Chatfield made sure to consider, as his cabinet is made up almost entirely of seniors.
Chatfield stressed the importance of communication and cooperation between student organizations and SOC.
“If any clubs want to specifically meet with me, no matter what amount of money they are asking for, I’ll meet with them,” Chatfield said. “Communication is important, especially with newer clubs who are not as familiar with the process. It can be very reassuring to talk to someone who knows the process and can help them through it.”
SOC has already received allocation applications from multiple clubs on campus, leaving Chatfield optimistic about this year’s allocations process.
“It may not seem like it’s that ahead of schedule, but I am pleasantly surprised,” Chatfield said. “I hadn’t expected anything ‘till March, honestly.”