SA budget compensates for depleted reserves

The 2012 – 2013 Student Association budget will allocate 92.5 percent of mandatory student activity fees – a decrease from this year’s 98 percent – leaving about $78,000 unbudgeted in order to help compensate for overspending in the past two years.

According to junior SA Director of Business Affairs Brittany Wolf, SA reserves dropped below $300,000 after a withdrawal of $50,000 for this year’s spring concert budget.

“We’re at [about] $280,000, roughly, in our reserves and years ago it was built up to be way more than that,” she said. “In recent years, because of the overspending that has been done last year and this year, the reserves have been depleted a little bit. This new budget is kind of supposed to fix that.”

Senior and President of SA Nick Spengler said that the decrease in funding for next year’s budget is coming almost entirely from the Standing Committee of Activities Commission, which will take a 20 percent budget cut. A significant portion of this cut will involve decreasing the concert budget down to its original $75,000 flat-rate performance fee.

According to senior SA Vice President Tyler Ocon, the decision to reduce the concert budget was made in response to concerns over the depleted reserves.

“Given the problems that we’ve had in terms of pulling money out of reserves that didn’t need to be pulled out, we realized that funding $150,000 for a concert is simply not sustainable,” he said. “Unless something drastically changed, there would be a likelihood that reserves could potentially be [depleted] … within three or four years, and we didn’t want to leave that kind of financial situation.”

Limelight and Accents also took a budget cut in response to its history of failing to reach expected revenue lines and decreased attendance trends. Other organizations within AC, like Mac’s Place, took smaller budget cuts.

According to Spengler, decreasing the percentage of allocated mandatory student activity fees will help compensate for SA’s over-spending this year. The unallocated $78,000 will go into a surplus line, which will be used for budget increases for SA organizations over the next year. About $30,000 of that money will eventually be put into SA reserves.

In a phone interview, Mac’s Place Coordinator sophomore Jenny Keller said she is unhappy with the decision to cut AC’s budget. “I think that [the concert budget] is definitely a worthy cause, and considering that they had a sold-out show and that it made thousands of kids’ nights, it’s definitely something that we cherish [and] that brings a very high reputation to our school,” she said.