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Annual Allocations Update

All,

There is some bad news this year for SLF allocations, although it may pave way for a new kind of funding for our organization — one that takes our principles of private options into account.

This year, annual allocations through Drexel University’s SAFAC system were done online, through a service called Collegiate Link.  A week before they were due, I received 27 emails, all at once, into my Gmail account, announcing the due date, which seemed like a glitch that happened in the system.  As an executive board, we discussed when we should meet to work on the form, but our time schedules did not end up working out to determine a meeting time.

I filled out the form referencing our allocations from last year on my own, thinking that I could use it as an appendix and fill out the form with the same details — I even included a paragraph that explained that our allocations from last year were perfect and we would be very happy with having the same again this year, since our events are generally the same year-to-year.

Also, we thought there was another chance to fix our allocations, as there was last year, through the appeals process.  Basically, if your funding has issues of any sort, you can resubmit your request within a week or so after you receive your funding letter, which ensures there are no problems.  This appeal process is still listed on the SAFAC website, too, although the dates are wrong.

A few weeks later, our treasurer met with the head of SAFAC to discuss a purchase request.  He informally told him that our allocations were not filled out correctly and that we weren’t getting any funding — surprisingly, there was no appeals process this year.  We immediately panicked and sent emails to the SAFAC head, head chairs, our liasons, asking if we could resubmit or do anything.  Weeks passed with no response, typical to that of SAFAC, and finally we got our funding letter of about $100.  I am in the process of asking why we didn’t receive $500, as the SAFAC website says,

If your organization applies through Annual Allocations, you will be guaranteed a base operating expense of $500.00. Beyond the base operating expense, the amount an organization receives in Capital, Activity, or Conference expenses varies depending on the items asked for and whether or not SAFAC feels the items requested meet the mission of the organization or will benefit the students of Drexel University.

This leaves us in a very messy situation.  Sure, there is a way that our group can be blamed for this problem, because we never met with our liason and discussed the allocation process.  But the SAFAC website has many issues that need to be addressed — they mention an appeals process.  Also, I would like to know if my form submission was discriminated against — we were simply told “it was filled out wrong.”  No details were sent out with our final allocation.  The form itself was incredibly confusing and it was even forcing me to fill out items that I did not think were necessary (or it wouldn’t let me submit).  Also, as an extremely active group on campus that was funded about $8,000 last year, it is strange that they would so quickly deny us any funding at all — which would totally initiate our group.  $100 only funds hosting 4 tables on campus, for example, so recruiting will be limited — speakers are costly — hosting a conference is costly — etc.

Personally, I am considering seeking legal advice on this situation — something seems very fishy and although Drexel is a private university, there are ways to seek media attention against this issue and if they are violating the Constitution, I believe this doesn’t matter.  If legally seeking justice does not work, I will be issuing press releases to hopefully get some justice..

There are certainly ways to get money without trouble, especially through private funding from sponsors, but personally, I feel the need to keep SAFAC honest.  Whether this is an issue of discrimination, false advertising/contracts on their website, or just a tyranny of an unchecked university institution, it needs to be stopped or warned that its actions will not be taken lightly.

SLF is always accepting donations for our events and we look forward to starting a private funding endeavor shortly.  For now, here is our ChipIn.

Thank you for reading, and regardless of our funding, SLF will continue to be one of the most active and influential student groups for liberty in the world!

This statement was written by Stacy Litz, current Vice President, and does not contain all the opinions of the executive board.

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Categories: Uncategorized

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