By Alejandro Barlow and Sydney Fedinec, Nov. 21, 2023
Bronco Esports, Gamers Union and more clubs on campus are facing delays in budget approval, forcing clubs to cancel events and gatherings planned for the fall and spring semesters as they wait for the approval from Associated Students Inc.
In previous years, clubs that submitted budget forms late received approval alongside the other clubs, or within a few weeks after a club submits the form. A glitch in the myBAR website blocked the Student Interest Council from accessing and approving budget requests causing delays for some clubs receiving first rounds of approval. The glitch is still affecting the system but slower workarounds have been found and put into effect.
Clubs like Bronco Esports were affected most by the budget delay resulting in the club’s decision to cancel its largest and longest running event, Frag Fest.Bronco Esports co-president Rob Ranit said Frag Fest was only canceled one time during the 15 years hosting the event.
For a club on campus to receive funding, it must go through ASI and the Student Interest Council as well as having full approval from board members and club advisors. ASI Financial Services is the last step of the approval process for clubs to receive funding.
According to Ivonne Cabezas, the associate director of Financial Services at ASI, the club budgets are handled and due in the spring and approved for the fall.
“We did have a glitch on myBAR,” said Cabezas. “We heard that notification accessing the club budget was not available to the new eboards.”
The myBAR glitch delayed ASI from viewing budget requests and approving them. For clubs, this set back budget approval for forms that were submitted on time and further delayed budgets submitted late.
Ranit shared in the Student Interest Council meetings clubs who submitted the budget have not received approval or money for the year resulting from a delay inside ASI.
“In our SIC meeting they told us that there’s been some issues with ASI,” said Ranit. “There were still a few of the clubs that have submitted their budgets and still haven’t got them yet because of the trouble that has been going on between them (ASI and clubs). They’re working on it fully, but there’s still going to be a small delay whenever we do submit it.”
Carter Provins, an applied mathematics student and Ultimate Frisby and SIC treasurer, said SIC must review and approve club budgets on myBAR before submitting the budget to ASI.
“Every club that submitted their budget in early March got their budget approved and is not having too much issue with it now because their budget is already approved,” said Provins.
Provins explained club budgets need to be reviewed by at least six people before the ASI Financial Services office can view budget request forms. At each step and with each person viewing the budget forms, the forms could get set back to step one.
ASI Financial Services has vacancies in their staffing including the director of financial services, financial services manager, staff accountant and budget analyst. Office space in ASI Financial Services is shared meaning no one has a dedicated desk space. The inconsistent office space and lack of positions increased the delay of approval budget, leading to Cabezas and a small team to review and approve more than 200 budgets within one week.
According to Cabezas, the timing of the budget analysis leaving his position Sept. 15 of this year was unfortunate as it happened around the same time as the myBAR glitch.
Clubs like Bronco Esports have large events every year that rely on budget approval. Other clubs use the budget for conferences or other events for students.
Cabezas said ASI Financial Services is still reviewing and approving budgets for clubs who have not yet received approval. Reminder messages and emails have been sent to clubs who are missing documents in order for ASI to approve budgets.