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SG treasurer proposes extra barriers for UNF student clubs requesting funding

Student clubs at the University of North Florida may soon be limited in how much funding they can request from Student Government—and how often they can request it—under a new Financial Code revision proposed by Treasurer Michael Barcal. 

There are over 150 student clubs (called Registered Student Organizations or RSOs) at UNF. Each one can ask for funding from SG for events and other operations. Under the current Finance Code, those requests go in front of the Budget & Allocations Committee, which must be approved with a majority vote. If approved, it goes before the full Senate for final approval.

In the past, there was no limit on how many times or how much money RSOs could request from SG, according to Title VIII Chapter 844 of SG’s Financial Code. If the Senate passes this new proposed revision, RSOs would be limited to two funding requests. 

Requests below $7,000 would have to be approved by a majority vote from the B&A Committee and a two-thirds vote from the Senate. 

But, if the request asks for more than $7,000, it would require a two-thirds vote from both the B&A Committee and the Senate under the proposal, according to the Title VIII revisions document SB-23F-3708

Spinnaker requested a comment from Treasurer Barcal regarding why he proposed the change, but he declined to comment because the legislation is still pending. 

However, multiple anonymous sources told Spinnaker that Barcal allegedly told the B&A Committee that he was proposing the changes to be fiscally conservative and make all RSOs equal by granting them access to the same amount of funds.

Barcal originally proposed the revision to the B&A Committee on Sep. 22. That version would have required requests over $7,000 to be passed with a unanimous vote from both the B&A Committee and the Senate, an anonymous source told Spinnaker. However, the committee voted against it 2-0-4.

The revision was then brought back to the committee on Oct. 6, and the unanimous vote portion was changed to how it’s proposed now.

Michael Barcal smiles for a photo wearing a blue suit jacket, white button down and an SG button
Student Government Treasurer Michael Bacal. (Photo courtesy of Student Government’s website)

How the revision proposal would impact UNF’s RSOs is unknown. There are a variety of clubs at UNF, and some have higher funding requests than others. 

For example, according to SG documents, the Swoop Troupe Theatre Club is currently requesting approximately $23,000 from SG to rent the Robinson Fine Arts Theater. On the other hand, the Club Volleyball team is currently requesting approximately $6,000 from SG to fund various equipment like poles, nets, paddings and more. 

The Senate will hear both of those special funding requests, as well as Treasurer Barcal’s proposal, on Friday during their regular meeting. However, it’s unclear whether the proposed revision will apply to the funding requests if passed.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Carter Mudgett, Reporter
Carter Mudgett is a University of North Florida student majoring in multimedia journalism. He was Spinnaker's editor-in-chief from August 2021 to December 2023. Carter led Spinnaker to be awarded a 2023 Online Pacemaker Award, and most recently placed second in the Society of Professional Journalists's Sunshine State Awards for "Best Coverage of LGBT Issues" in the college category. Backed by a passion for creative storytelling and accurate reporting, Carter typically covers education, gender and race issues.

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