Did you know that, on average, students from other universities support student organizations and clubs with a $12 fee? This fee helps promote a culture in which ample resources are accessible to educate, fund and guide the various organizations. At Montana State, however, a $3.10 fee per student, per semester, funds student organizations. This is not enough. Working with such limited resources has created circumstances wherein clubs are unable to provide rewarding opportunities for their student members.
As Montana State continues to focus on student engagement and enhancing the overall student experience, the proposition to increase the fee to $6.20 a semester is a necessary step to meet these goals while providing adequate resources to student organizations. The measure will appear on the March 5 and 6 Spring ballot, the same ballot that decides the MSU presidential elections.
Though several student organizations stand out on campus and in the community by providing needed goodwill and selfless acts, I would like to see all current student organizations flourish with the necessary resources to undertake any and all desired activities, including community service.
If the student body decides to support this increase of resources to student organizations, we will all be able to revel in how we provided our peers with the opportunity to make a difference through community outreach and by improving other students’ experiences at Montana State. As noted by Tyler de Caussin, President of the Swing/Country Dance Club, “When allocated responsibly, the RSO funding can be used to develop richer varieties and more diverse opportunities across campus.”
Lincoln Gulley, a member of Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT), has seen his organization affected by a lack of funding. The organization had to turn down 2,000 student requests to present space-science projects, due to a lack of funding required to help pay for transportation and housing costs. “This fee increase is one which benefits students directly and will provide clubs the resources to accomplish their goals instead of settling for cuts” Gulley said. While MSU students lost an opportunity, so did students around Montana who didn’t have the chance to see all of the research taking place at MSU.
It is up to you, my fellow students, to help student organizations succeed. Your vote on the March 5 and 6 ballot measure will allow thousands upon thousands of current and future students the opportunity to participate in a thriving student organization instead of toiling within the current culture, struggling to subsist due to inadequate funding and resources. This is the first time student organizations have asked for increased funding, and we would appreciate your support. With the combined efforts of nearly 3,000 students involved in 196 student organizations, we can provide an even greater service to the community of Bozeman than we currently do.
— Brandon Marsh, Rugby Club President