SA conducts budget review for fund allocations

The Student Association Budget Review Committee has been working to allocate the 2013-14 SA budget to fund clubs, organizations and services. 

The committee is comprised of six members this year: sophomore Harrison Dole, junior Olivia Kelly, freshman Alison Wilkie, junior Robert Terreri, freshman Dan Martin and senior Casey Howard. 

The budget review process began on Feb. 8, and the 59 SA-funded clubs, organizations and services had to submit their proposed budgets for next year by that date. Following this, each group was required to sign up for a meeting with the committee for a date between Feb. 18 and March 1. 

“[Funded organizations] then have a meeting, which is about 15 minutes, where they propose their budget and why it works if it’s the same budget or what changes they’ve made and explaining why they’ve made those changes,” Director of Business Affairs Casey Howard said. 

Following the completion of these meetings, the committee is examining all the requests and is making cuts according to what they expect to receive from mandatory activities and what each group is asking for. 

“Additionally, there are some things that budget review can’t decide, such as insurance for club sports and salaries for our four employees. That goes in before everything and what we have left is what we can allocate,” Howard said.

Once the budget decision is made, organizations will find out with a letter in their mailbox. 

“If they are happy with whatever they are allocated, let’s say it’s what they requested, they’ll probably be fine with it. But if it’s different, then they have the opportunity to appeal that and come back for a second meeting, explaining why either the cuts or the changes we have made are not in their best interests,” Howard said. 

While the review committee has a large say in the allotted budgets for each group, the SA executive council has the final say on the total budget. 

According to Howard, there are a few factors to take into consideration when deciding how much money is granted to each organization.

“In the discussion, the committee looks at the service that club provides to students. So is there a need for what that money is being spent on and how effectively and consistently that money is being spent,” he said. “Additionally, sometimes if the money is just not there to allocate we suggest other avenues to get the money, such as grants.”

Howard said that the gross SA budget for next school year is just under $1.3 million, which also accounts for income. Approximately $970,000 is allocated from mandatory student activity fees. The other $310,000 is from student fees such as ticket sales and dues.

“The budget review is public, so technically anyone can attend the meetings we had or meetings in the future. To get a better idea of what people are saying or what budgets look like, you don’t have to be on the committee, but you can be present to see how that process works,” Howard said. 

 According to Howard, although all meetings are public, the Budget Review Committee ultimately makes the final decisions on the breakdown of the budget.