SGA awarded around $34K in organizational aid

Taylor Harrison

The Organizational Aid Committee, the part of the Student Government Association that gives money to student organizations, helped about 50 organizations this year.

Devon Hilderbrandt, SGA’s administrative vice president, said the total amount SGA gave out in organizational aid this year was around $34,000.

Students can apply for money through an online application. That application is then read by Hilderbrandt, and then the organization can schedule a time to meet with the org aid committee. The maximum each organization can receive is $500.

Corey Johnson, an SGA senator who worked on the committee, said he thinks it is one of the best things SGA does.

“I think we’ve done a lot of great things. I’m proud of a lot of the organizations we’ve given money to this year,” Johnson said. “I think this semester and this past semester we were very strict on what we gave funding to, making sure that it really benefited the student body in a way that was justifiable to us to spend that money — the students’ money — on an organization.”

Johnson said in particular, one of the organizations that he thought made good use of the money was Women In Transition, a group that provided scholarship money to single mothers coming back to school to further their education.

Rachel Calhoun, the secretary of the student senate, also worked with org aid this year. Calhoun said one of the groups she remembered most was a group of Chinese students taking trips around Kentucky to see the sites and culture before returning home.

“That was cool,” Calhoun said. “I’d never seen that before. That was a good idea.”

Calhoun also said one criterion for the groups to receive funding was that it was not just to fund supplies for a party, unless it was a large event for all students.

“If they were just using the money to essentially throw a party, we weren’t really into that,” Calhoun said. “It had to affect a lot of students and be legitimate.”

Johnson said about 10 or 11 groups were turned down for funding.

Cain Alvey, an SGA senator who will serve as administrative vice president next year, said he wants to re-vamp the application so that the students applying for money have to include more description about how they will use the money.

“But other than that, I think it’s running great,” Alvey said. “You know, we helped out a lot of good organizations this year.”

Alvey said one of the organizations he really liked was the Chinese Music Club.

“They’re going to the local schools and performing, and I thought that was a really cool way to help out not only the organizations and the students in the organization but the community as well,” Alvey said.

One organization Hilderbrandt thought was interesting was the Green River Grotto. Hilderbrandt said that was a geology group that traveled through caves and learned about different types of rocks while mapping out the caves.

Relay for Life and Up ’Til Dawn were also great organizations, Hilderbrandt said.

Hilderbrandt said each group had something unique about them.

Org aid also helped out graduate groups this year that helped students with professionalism and moving on to the next level of their lives.

“We thought that was really cool because we’ve never had that before,” Hilderbrandt said. “At least, last year we didn’t. So I was really happy to see that this year. That was really cool. We saw a lot more groups than we did last year, which is awesome.”