May 21, 2010

SG funds vans for RSO rental

Student groups will be able to rent vans for a nominal fee starting fall quarter.

Student Government (SG) has allocated funds from the Student Activities Fee and SG budget to lease two vans starting next academic year. The program is expected to save some groups— such as athletics teams—a significant amount of money, and make travel easier for others.

“Instead of paying a bus company $400 for a weekend, they’ll pay $40 or $50 to check out the van,” said third-year and newly elected SG President Greg Nance, who negotiated with administrators to bring the vans to campus.

Each van will hold seven people and cost $5,500 to lease, not including maintenance fees and insurance. Nance hopes that the $25–$50 dollar fee charged to any group taking out a van will help recoup the leasing and maintenance costs.

$8,000 were allocated from the Student Activities Fee and $3,000 from the SG budget to pay for the vans, according to Nance and fourth-year Chris Williams, the outgoing vice president for Student Affairs. Williams was generally positive about the plan, although he expressed a concern that the Student Government Finance Committee was not consulted on the change and that SG may not make back the money it has invested.

“I think student groups are probably just going to pull more money from the Student Activities Fee to pay for the van,” Williams said, referring to the process by which SG allocates money to RSOs.

Nance said smaller athletics clubs—which are expected to be among the most frequent users, along with the University Community Service Center—will pay for vans out of team dues.

“It’s a great investment. They’re going to save a lot of clubs a lot of funding,” Nance said. He mentioned that if the program is a success, SG plans to lease a third van during the winter.

RSOs will enter into a lottery system to be able to use the vans, which will be rented out on time slots.

The SG vans are one of his slate’s 10 goals for their first 30 days in office.