November 22, 2013
Group faces lack of fundingHarmonic Combustion describes itself as "Susquehanna University's newest a cappella
group." It is also one group on campus that does not receive funding from the Student Government Association (SGA).
According to the president of Harmonic Combustion senior Clifford DeClerque, "All of [the
group's] funds are just people pitching in money." He added that lack of funding has prevented the group from performing at other schools and buying sheet music. Members of Harmonic Combustion create many of their own musical arrangements to save money.
Student organizations recognized by SGA receive funding and use of campus facilities, as well as advice and assistance from the office of student activities.
According to university policy, SGA cannot give aid to groups that do not adhere to certain guidelines, such as creating a constitution, electing a president and being inclusive. The latter means that organizations must allow any student to join.
Harmonic Combustion fails to qualify for recognition by SGA because it is "exclusive." While the a cappella group does hold open auditions, it only permits a fraction of students to become members.
Beth Winger, student activities coordinator, suggested that Harmonic Combustion could make itself eligible for SGA funding by creating separate groups within the organization: one a small performance group and the other a larger group for anyone with an interest in a cappella.
SU Dance Corps has already demonstrated that this can be successful for a performance based organization.
In addition, SGA recognition permits groups to supplement their allotment of money with on campus fundraising, a privilege not extended to unrecognized groups.
Director of Student Activities Brent Papson explained that "fundraisers need to go through recognized student organizations" to protect the student body from solicitation by outside groups.
The inability to fundraise on campus has hindered Harmonic
Combustion in their endeavors.
SGA cannot directly provide funding to an exclusive organization like Harmonic Combustion, as it would be unfair for students' activity fees to go toward organizations they cannot join. Even so, SGA president Tyler Shields said he hopes to "alleviate some of the stress" on unrecognized groups by editing the budget manual in the near future.