On April 9, the Student Union Allocations Board shared the Annual Marathon Report with club leaders. Clubs on campus requested $3,324,464.56 of which $1,703,124.89 was allocated. On average, clubs received nearly 49 percent less funding than what they asked for. 

These results are similar to the marathon report from 2023. Last year, clubs requested $2,912,000 of which $1,476,415 was allocated — placing club funding at approximately 49 percent of requested funding. 

Club funding comes from the Student Activities Fee, which is supported by one percent of student tuition, as well as rollover funds not spent the prior fiscal year. 

One club that received significantly less than what they requested is the Brandeis Asian American Students Association who requested $46,781.50 and received $18,063.50 — 62 percent less than what they need for events like their culture show Apahm. In an April 15 statement to The Justice, BAASA President Layla Hay ’25 and Vice President Kevin Cui ’26 wrote, “This year’s marathon results were disappointing to say the least, as we received less than half of what we requested. It is an unfortunate situation as we are one of the few groups representing Asian American Pacific Island students on campus, and despite facing a massive budget cut the previous year, we are having to deal with another halving of our budget.”

According to A-Board Co-Chair Rashail Wasim ’25, the board set aside a new pool of funds to cover event charges related to Facilities, Media Technology Services, Public Safety and BEMCo. “Previously all clubs had to pay for these costs from their own budgets, and now A-Board is paying those costs directly,” he wrote in an April 15 statement to The Justice. “We introduced this change to make budgeting easier for clubs, and next year will be the first full year the change is in effect.”

Clubs under the Intercultural Center asked for $451,274.29 altogether and received $224,282.30 — approximately half of the amount they requested. “The cultural clubs at Brandeis play a super important role in student life and promoting Brandeis’ mission of diversity and inclusion. And so the administration and Student Union should make an effort to ensure our clubs can actually function and have resources for events,” Hay and Cui wrote. 

“We understand the limited funding that A-Board has in supporting and funding all the different student organizations on campus,” said the executive board of the Taiwan Student Association in an April 15 statement to The Justice. “However, it is a little frustrating … when the A-Board doesn’t fully understand how the ICC and cultural clubs or our events function.” TSA requested $25,123.36 and received $15,426.73.

According TSA, the A-Board considered their event Night Market, which “celebrates various cultures at Brandeis with a fusion of Taiwanese culture,” to be a culture show. Consequently, the funds that they typically receive for their annual cultural show have now been split between Night Market and their actual cultural show, Formosa. They referred to the classification as “a little startling and shocking.”

“Due to limited funding, we now have to consider canceling Night Market in order to fully dedicate our funds towards having a successful Formosa, which would be unfair to our culture and our club’s traditions, as well as to students who look forward to both events every year,” TSA told The Justice.

According to Wasim, “Most clubs, not just cultural clubs, saw a decrease in their annual budgets, because they are no longer required to pay for the overhead costs of large, on-campus events, such as culture shows, out of their own budget.”

However, ICC clubs still find that the allocated funds fall short for key parts of the budget for their culture shows. “South Asian Student Association… requested $58,270 of which $20,170 was approved. Despite being warned about budget cuts, we were pretty shocked and panicked to see this, as it was lower than our semester budgets in previous years,” SASA Co-President Srishti Kaushik ’26 told The Justice on April 15. 

The budget for SASA’s annual cultural show MELA was cut in half, from the $24,700 requested to the $12,000 allocated. “MELA is the biggest cultural show on campus, as well as the biggest student-run production. Hundreds of students from the South Asian community and beyond are involved in volunteering, performing, and organizing the event. In terms of participation and involvement, MELA has only been expanding in recent years, and our E-board is already scrambling to figure out how to prepare for this reduced budget,” said Kaushik. 

She explained that for months leading up to the show, SASA members paint a full canvas backdrop. However, A-board did not approve any money to be spent on Paint Nights, which are events where all members of the community are invited to help paint the backdrop. SASA requested $650 in the first round of Marathon to be directed toward Paint Nights and again during appeals. 

“While we have faith in ourselves as an E-board, we know it’s going to be difficult next semester figuring out how to run on this significantly reduced budget,” Kaushik said. 

“The school is quick to post our events on social media to showcase their ‘diversity’ yet continue to significantly cut our funding. It feels quite performative and it makes members of these culture clubs (who are majority POC) feel neglected.” Hay and Cui highlighted the irony of ICC clubs and culture shows receiving less funding.