CAS grants come up short

The funds provided by Campus Auxiliary Services for catering grants were depleted on March 17. These grants enable student clubs and organizations to cater events. The grant budget for the 2014–2015 academic year was $30,000. This was a steep reduction from the 2013–2014 budget, which was $46,000. Even so, the funds were depleted early last April, long before the end of the academic year.

According to Executive Director of CAS Mark Scott, CAS was able to set aside more money for grants in the previous two years because it did not have to pay rent for Letchworth Dining Hall while it was under construction.

“In light of [this opportunity], we decided to redirect a good portion of those dollars to grants for clubs and organizations,” Scott said.

Now that Letchworth is operational again, the excess funds have been directed back into paying for the space.

Scott does not solely attribute the depleted funds to the budget reduction, however.

“Our clubs and organizations are doing a lot of good work out there,” he said. “The programming that they’re putting on is increasing in popularity and our clubs are finding ways to draw bigger audiences to the programs they’re doing.”

This means that more organizations are applying for grants, each of which CAS must review. The grants are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

By applying online, recognized student organizations can receive a small catering grant worth up $100 each semester. College-wide events may be approved for one large grant of up to $500 each year.

Cultural dinner events are also a possibility for organizations that are a member of Geneseo’s Alliance for Community Enrichment.

According to Scott, having popular club programming is “a curse and a blessing at the same time.” The catering grant application process is competitive and funding is far from guaranteed. “It’s a blessing that you’ve got people who are interested and a curse that you’re kind of running out of resources,” he added.

Due to the rising demand for catering funds, CAS increased its grant budget to $35,000 for the 2015–2016 academic year.

“We had an opportunity to make those funds available and we thought the best place to allocate those resources was to our [catering] grant program,” Scott said. “Giving another $5,000 was the right thing to do.”