The Students’ Association Senate voted on and passed its budget for the 2006-07 year on Monday. The total budget available to student groups for the year will be $761,705.
Also included in the budget is money for class councils, equipment funding and the SA supplemental fund. Much of the money budgeted for student groups will cover funding for student clubs, awareness groups, club sports and student entertainment.
The SA Appropriations Committee estimates that 3,650 students will be paying the $224 student activities fee next year, which would allow the voted budget to succeed.
There was minimal contention over the budget, with the final vote to approve being unanimously in favor. Before the vote, sophomore and SAAC Treasurer-elect Salvaldor Pea briefed the senate on the new budget.
Despite the ease with which the full senate passed the budget, much work went into finalizing the ledgers.
“The committee put a lot of hard work in creating a balanced budget that ensured consistency in requests,” senior and ranking SAAC member Tyson Ford said. “The process was not as arbitrary because the same guidelines were followed throughout the process.”
The funding expenditures were targeted toward groups and organizations that the SA felt could make the best use of the money.
“We tried to reward groups for what they did well, like putting on programming that benefited the entire student body,” Pea said. “Cuts in funding were made to inactive groups, as well as those that went above and beyond in funding their own activities. In some cases, groups were bringing in a good amount of money, so even though their subsidy was cut, programming offered to students was not affected.”
Others agreed with this assessment of the fairness of the budget.
“This is the most fair, equal and consistent budget so that each group on campus was given fair monetary means. No group was given preferential treatment,” sophomore and first year SAAC member Greg Meditz said. “Student groups were given the means to deliver what the student body wants.” If any SA groups’ budgets were cut, the purpose was “to emphasize coordination and cooperation between groups to improve programming,” Meditz said.
This year’s SA budget differs significantly from 2004-05, the last year for which information is available. In that year, total SA income was $17,583.47 higher than in 2006, although the 2006 budget calls for more outlays to student groups, in an increase of two percent.
The group with the largest budget increase by percentage this year is the Marching Band, whose budget has increased 348 percent to $1,165.00.
Several groups are no longer supported by SA funding. Model UN lost their budget because they did not submit a budget for the year to the SA Senate. Additionally, some groups are recieving funding from other campus branches. One such group is the Medical Emergency Response Team which is now being funded by University Health Services.
The largest recipient of funds this year is the Campus Activities Board with a 2006 budget of $119,138.25.
This amount represents an increase of five percent over last year. Other large recipients are Club Sports at $89,975.12, UR Concerts at $70,000, SAAC at $82,652 and the Student Activities Office at $95,500.
Groups were separated in the SA budget according to their aim and to their primary goal. The included group categories were cultural, performance, issue awareness, publications, programming, intercollegiate, governing organizations, and other.
The cultural group lost two percent of its total budget from 2005, although groups such as the Polish Club gained money.
The performance group gained the largest budget amount, with an allotment that was 40 percent higher than last year. Included in this group were the Marching Band, Ballet Performance Group and others.
The issue awareness group gained three percent over last year, but included three groups losing 24 percent of their budget or more. Notable were the Students for Liberty, who lost 68 percent of their total budget.
Also notable was the total allotment to governing organizations, which added up to $201,159. Majarian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Scott can be reached at email@example.com.