The outdoor recreation award, a fund given by the Student Finance Board (SFB), will probably be discontinued after this semester, according to Jon Borst, SFB executive director.
“All organizations that made valid requests for outdoor recreation money received at least partial funding,” Borst said.
In the past, a total of $14,000 was awarded per year. At this point there is about $3,000 remaining in the fund, according to Borst.
Previously, any club could apply for up to $1,050 per semester from the fund. The money goes toward organizations that “wish to pursue a rewarding outdoor experience,” according to the SFB manual. The manual lists canoeing, camping, hiking and skiing as examples of such activities.
The funding for these activities has been eliminated by the College due to budget cuts. This semester, SFB has been forced to rely on leftover money from past years – money that is running out, according to Borst.
“As of right now, there will probably be no outdoor recreation next year,” he said.
Although SFB is in charge of appropriating the outdoor recreation award, the funding itself does not come from the Student Activities Fund (SAF), as is the case with all of the other money SFB appropriates. Instead, the money comes from tuition, Borst said.
SFB may opt to put SAF money toward a new outdoor recreation award, according to Borst.
“It is an option that will be discussed at our budget retreat in late March,” he said.
The student activity fee was increased by $10 this year, bringing it to $143 per year.
The outdoor recreational award has its origins in a cabin formerly owned by the College. According to Borst, students were able to stay in the cabin for a weekend in the woods and a “rewarding outdoor experience.” When this cabin was sold, the revenue was used to start the outdoor recreation award and the College continued to fund the award even after the revenue was exhausted.
The outdoor recreational award dates back to the ’70s.