Senator Folk works with student groups to distribute tuition money

Breanne George

More than 200 registered student organizations at Kent State.

Undergraduate Student Senator Kevin Folk meets with many of these organizations each day to allocate money for special projects.

Folk is chairperson of the Allocation Committee, which distributes money’s for registered organizations that request funding. The money comes from undergraduate student tuition.

In order for an organization to request funding, it must be registered by the Center for Student Involvement.

There are guidelines, such as limitations on what the funding can be used for and policies of the Allocations Committee that the organizations must follow.

“If the organization does not comply with the guidelines, then it is breaking university policy,” Folk said.

“Our hands are tied and there is nothing the committee can do,” he said.

Folk said he meets with students each day to make sure their requests are filled out correctly since the forms can be confusing. Folk created a checklist this year to make it easier for students.

“They present me their request with their hopes and dreams and I look at it to see if anything needs changed,” Folk said. “Once everything is filled out the best it can be, then we hear their request at the next meeting.”

Sometimes a request is better served coming from other means such as community service or department programs, Folk said. Some student organizations want the proceeds to be donated, which is against university policy.

“I don’t want to ruin their goals of donating to a good cause, so I suggest other alternatives,” Folk said. “The allocation committee is usually the best avenue, but it is not the only choice. It’s not a catch-all.”

Prior to their meetings, committee members discuss the request they will hear and come up with questions they plan to address.

“To be more educated on the request allows us to represent the students better,” Folk said. “We see a better part of the picture.”

Requests are voted on an individual basis and approved by majority vote, unless they are on an appeal. In such a case, a 2/3 majority would be required.

Judy Ripple, co-adviser of the allocations committee, monitors the financial policy and guidelines. She said the committee currently has $26,000 that can be allocated to student organizations, which is $7,000 more than the average of past years.

The committee has funded 21 organizations this school year. Eight have not received funding in the previous two years and six have never received funding.

“I’m very interested in working with student organizations on campus,” Folk said. “I felt with my ideas and personality that it was a good fit and wanted to level the playing field and help organizations who have never received funding in the past.”

Contact student politics reporter Breanne George at [email protected].