Organizations offered a way to pay off travel expenses with grants from SGA

The Student Government Association provides travel grants for students and organizations to use and pay for trip expenses.

“The purpose is to assist students and organizations in their travel needs whether they’re going to conferences or programming across the country,” said SGA President Seth Leto. “We can give back to them all the money they give to us through their fees but also so they can go, and they can learn, then bring those things back to the university to diversify their organization, themselves and the place.”

SGA is funded through tuition and fees paid by students. A portion of that money is used to provide travel grants.

“SGA travel grants are basically our way of giving back to student organizations,” said SGA Vice President Richard Davis Jr. “What we do is we have a program and a grant system set up where any organization that is recognized by the university can apply for one of these grants. It’s up to $1,000 per organization per travel, and organizations only get a grant once per year.”

Funding provided for the travel grants has changed.

 

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“Over the years, we have been decreasing the amount because of budget cuts as well as low enrollment,” said Davis. “Instead of having to raise the fee that we charge students, we’re just reducing the services that we offer. I believe the travel grant started as $1,800. It was $1,500 last year, and now we’re moving down to $1,000.”

Other modifications will wait to be applied.

“We are working on making some changes,” said Leto. “None of those, however, will be official until we pass our new by-laws, which will be on the agenda for our next meeting.”

The application for a travel grant can be found on the SGA’s website. The application process opened Sept. 5. 

“All you have to do is email our graduate assistant, Tara Forsythe, and she will set up an informational meeting with them and walk them through all the steps,” said Davis. “All the information is on our website. It’s selu.edu/sga. You’ll click on grants, and there’ll be a document that says how to apply for a travel grant.”

The grant application must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the travel for processing. After the application and an informational meeting with the graduate assistant, the grant will be reviewed by the vice president and appropriations committee. A bill will be placed on the senate agenda for voting.

“For any student who is traveling, they have to have at least a 2.5 semester and cumulative GPA, and if their GPA falls during that travel grant application process, then they’re not eligible for the travel grant,” said Davis. “They have to attend the mandatory meeting with our graduate assistant and be in good standing with the university. That’s academic wise and disciplinary wise. They have to be a recognized organization, which means they have to turn in their student organization recognition packet to the Office for Student Engagement.”

Davis shared his experience with the travel grant system. 

“I love the grant system,” said Davis. “I think it’s been really beneficial. I’m a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and we had our regional convention last year. The way that we funded that whole convention and our travel expenses was through SGA.”

 

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