SGA allocates group budgets

SGA allocates group budgets

Simpson’s Student Government Association spent over two hours at last week’s meeting discussing their group budget allocations for this school year.

SGA has an operating budget of more than $300,000, a large part of which goes to funding student organizations. After discussions last week, the budget was tabled and was to be voted on at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Changes were made this year in the way that student groups request money from SGA that were meant to allow for more flexibility for smaller groups. The process of allocating funds to campus organizations began last spring when organizations were able to submit line-item budget requests to SGA.

In the past, only groups with large budgets who needed funding before the start of the school year were able to submit line-item requests. Now however, all student groups are able to submit such requests.

“Last spring, SGA changed the finance code and allowed all groups to request funding at the end of the semester for the following year,” senior SGA member Jamie Corey explained. “In past years, only bigger groups on campus like Cab, IM, etc., could request money early. Now all groups have that opportunity, which will hopefully lead to more groups having the same opportunities as the bigger groups and impacting the student body in a positive manner.”

The money SGA allocates for groups comes from the $267 activity fee every student pays as part of their yearly tuition. This year, the budget has a little cushion, with $7,000 more to play around with due to the increased enrollment numbers.

SGA suggested an allocation of $305,627 of this year’s budget to groups on campus, leaving an operating budget of $12,873. Twenty groups requested funding, with request amounts totaling $329, 072. Last year’s group allocation was $292,822.

Every group that submitted a request received an allocation except for one: the Pre-Law Society

The group requested $4,740 last spring and was allocated no money this fall. According to SGA committee members, the Pre-Law Society submitted a line-item budget request last spring, but no members of the group were present when SGA held its budget hearing. As a result, SGA had little information regarding what the requested funding would go toward.

The organization has the opportunity to re-draft its budget and present it to the SGA later this year, as funds can always be taken out of the operating budget.

“Student Government doesn’t feel that they should fund academic groups,” Corey said. “We feel that the individual academic departments have funds that can go towards academic programs and trips.”

CAB has been allocated the most money of any group: $153,500. The group requested $153,500 and SGA originally allocated $150,000, a two-percent-increase from last year.

Unlike some other organizations, CAB had received $40,000 from the college in addition to SGA funding in past years. However, that extra funding from the school is no longer available. This was the point of discussion among SGA members that caused the group to amend the allocation to the full $153,500.

LGBTQA received the highest boost in funds from last year to this year. Last year the group received $2,510 in funding. This year the funding jumped 20 percent to $3,000. The group had requested $3,490 last spring.

RLC entered a spring line-item request that called for a 34 percent increase in funds this year. SGA did not suggest allocating that much money, however.

“They had $6,000 left in their budget last year so we didn’t see any justification for a $12,000 increase this year,” senior SGA treasurer Sarah Schlitter explained at the meeting.

An RLC representative said the organization relies upon the funding for group activities and trips throughout the school year.

“The RLC gets no direct funds from the college,” senior RLC President Kasey Peters said. “The chapel gets money from the college,” but RLC does not.

In addition to voting on the budget, SGA planned to discuss how to use the $7,000 surplus at Wednesday’s meeting.