Organization funding needed for growth

Northern Kentucky University is a growing and progressing school.

Ask anyone around the NKU community about our school and you can be sure to hear something very similar if not that exact same line. Yet, there is still that same stigmatic idea that seems to manifest itself into the idea of our university: NKU as a bare concrete commuter campus with little-to-no student involvement.

Granted, the university has started to overcome this with a new university president inviting students to basketball games to do the Harlem Shake, asking for student input on the strategic planning process and even inviting a select group of students to his house for dinner.

Yet something about our student life on campus has remained sub par, especially compared to the surrounding universities.

And then, at last week’s Student Government Association meeting, the group revealed that the Student Fee Allocation Board has been cutting its monetary funding to student organizations yearly since 2007, as the amount of students participating in these student organizations since that same year has increased by almost 40 percent.

So you may be asking yourself, “Yeah there are always cuts lately, so what is the problem?”

But if the university is working to overcome its stigma as this desolate school, then it is evident that student life should be getting the money it needs and it is obvious that it has not been.

The way to overcome this stigma isn’t just in increasing the number of students getting involved with university organizations every year, but having enough money for those organizations to do cool activities and create neat experiences.

We need more funding to have more events, interesting extracurriculars and stronger overall groups on campus to make students want to stay here. This funding will also help those students who are involved to become even more engaged in the groups they are already in.

Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple said these cuts to the Student Fee Allocation Board funding may be a way for NKU to cope with state budget cuts. And perhaps cutting funding to student organizations would make sense, instead of trying to cut other things that could more directly affect academics.

But the Board of Regents announced retention as a main means of balancing out the budget in a time of an ever-decreasing state budget at their last meeting.

And it has been said time and time again, from our first days at NKU during summer orientations, to lectures from concerned professors and administrators, “the way to get retention up and to have students be successful and graduate sooner, is to get them involved.”

Well then the university should support student organizations as an economical investment, with at least the additional $63,000, which is what the Student Fee Allocation Board got in 2007-08, and show students that aren’t as involved, or are “typical commuters,” what they are missing out on by not being here on campus.