CAS catering grants deplete well before end of semester

Campus Auxiliary Services’ funding for catering grants was depleted in early April. These grants are awarded to recognized student organizations and provide food and catering services for these organizations’ events. The organization submits an application to CAS describing the event and how it will benefit the Geneseo community. CAS must approve each grant application, and the grant money is written into the CAS budget each year.

Executive Director of CAS Mark Scott said that the CAS grant money provides the extra resources to improve events or make them possible.

“People are giving their time and energy, but sometimes the material resources or financial resources are a little sparse,” he said.

The approved grants are distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Scott said that this is the second year in a row that CAS has run out of grants to distribute before the end of the year. CAS awarded about 140 grants to organizations on campus last year; this year, they distributed about 160.

Scott explained that some organizations that have applied for grants will not receive the resources they requested because the “volume and pressure on the grant pool.”

Scott said that the grants have gotten more attention in recent years because of a greater focus on publicity and communication. For this reason, there have been more applicants and applications have been received earlier in the semester.

There has been extra money available for CAS grants the last two years, according to Scott. This is money that CAS saved because it does not have to pay rent for Letchworth Dining Hall while it is under construction.

Because Letchworth will be open next year, there will be less money available for grants. Scott said that, to compensate for this change, the application process will become more competitive.

“I think that the thing that we want to do is to really award the grants to people who are out there doing some sort of legitimate work out in the community,” he said. “It may not just be first come, first served; I think that we’re going to ask people to write more compelling requests supported by both quantitative and qualitative information and maybe even some follow-up from the event.”

He also said that there has been preliminary planning for a grant review committee. This committee would be made up of community members who would select which events receive grant money.

Scott hopes that eventually CAS will be able to provide grant resources for all organizations in need.

“Over the last seven years, I’ve seen a lot of good being done with this grant money,” Scott said. “I want to be able to make more money available for more great work.”