Kate Lyden speaks as the Club Affairs chair for Lehigh Student Senate. The Senate is responsible for delegating funding to different clubs and organizations on campus. (Wesley Huang/B&W Staff)

An inside look at Student Senate’s club funding process


Lehigh’s Student Senate, a group of students assuming campus leadership roles to better the student body experience, delegates funding to various student clubs and organizations, allowing them to function.  

Student Senate President Victor Cochrane, ‘22, said the allocations committee gets an overall budget amount but not a figure for each club. As a result, part of the Senate’s job is to balance the allocations fairly across the university’s clubs and organizations. 

Prior to receiving funding, new clubs and organizations must enter a six-week vetting and approval process through a separate, specialized Senate committee, chaired by Kate Lyden, ‘24. 

The application process begins on LINC where students submit their club ideas, after which they meet with Lyden and her committee to discuss the club’s potential structure and goals. Potential clubs are then either recommended or not recommended to the Senate at large for approval, entering a six week trial period with a $100 budget. 

After the six weeks conclude, the students return to Lyden and her committee to discuss their progress and then move to attain approval for full-club status. 

When interviewing potential club applicants, Lyden said she looks for a sound mission statement. 

“It should be creative, it should catch the eye of someone and detail what the club stands for, as well as your goals, and what you want your general members to feel, as that’s really the core of any organization,” Lyden said. 

Upon final approval from Lyden and the Senate at-large, clubs and organizations are able to submit requests for funds larger than their initial $100. 

The allocations committee, headed by Santiago Delgado, ‘22, manages the Senate’s finances. 

Delgado’s job is to review funding requests, working closely with the Office of Student Engagement. Delgado said he tries to make himself as accessible as possible, answering questions and helping clubs throughout the process.

With over 250 student-run organizations, the allocations committee delegates funding from the Student Life Series fund to each group, providing them with the budget they need to function. 

“Our goal as an allocations committee is to fund as much as we can this year and in general,” Delgado said. “We want to support organizations and we want to do it in the best way physically possible.”

Due to limitations in overall funding and bylaws which must be abided by, Delgado said he and his committee look for essential needs within each request, while still trying to grant as much funding as possible to each club. 

He said this is difficult as he wants to be supportive of all organizations, however he does have to work within a limited budget.

“The allocations committee and Student Senate as a whole is here to support student organizations at our core and we want to fund them, we want to support their initiatives,” Delgado said. “Despite our limited capacity, we still want to support our organizations” 

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