Most universities give some direct funding to their established student organizations. Often the process is fairly straightforward. Student groups petition their student government and justify their requests by their previous year’s expenditures and planned activities for the coming year. Typically, the request is granted at close to the level of money asked for, although it’s not unheard of to have a healthy percentage of the request denied.
The Saint Louis University chapter of the College Republicans seem to either have some connections at the top of the student government, or some really impressive program planned, because they are getting almost $20,000 from SLU’s student government. That’s the second highest level of funding on campus for any organization. By comparison, the SLU College Democrats are only getting $980, and Habitat for Humanity will only get $4560, only about a third of their original request. And Habitat for Humanity actually builds things!!
Here’s a handy dandy chart of a segment of the funding levels. The first dollar amount is the organization’s request, the second is the amount denied, and the third is the amount that the SLU student government decided to fund the organization.
Let me be the first to state that I don’t attend Saint Louis University, nor did I graduate from there. Nor do I work there, nor contribute money to the university, or attend Mass there. I’ve volunteered once for their Campus Kitchen program that puts together meals for those in need, but that’s about it. In other words, I’m an outsider to their community, and therefore unfamiliar with their customs and the inner workings of their institution that might justify an extravagant expense to an outsider such as myself.
But perhaps someone could explain to an outsider such as myself why the College Republicans are worth $20,000 for a year. I’ve heard that they plan to bring a speaker to campus, thus the high funding request. But a commencement speaker often commands that kind of money, not someone brought in to speak by a partisan campus organization.