SGA votes to alter finance code

SGA votes to alter finance code

by Kelsey KnutsonStaff Writer

The Student Government Association approved changes in their finance code last month, affecting how on-campus groups will receive funding.

While revisions were made throughout the code, only a few will drastically affect campus organizations.

Line item groups were essentially eliminated, making it possible for every group to receive funding in the spring regardless of their size or history.

Each group will now come to the budget committee in the spring and ask for funds for the following school year. This will require every group to plan their budget a year in advance, but it will also make it possible for groups to start programming immediately in the fall.

Groups were previously split up into two groups – line-item and otherwise. Line item groups had to apply for the status by providing their budget for the next year, demonstrating that they had a need for the money immediately in the fall and by showing fiscal responsibility. Groups that did not have line-item status would request money from SGA’s operating budget throughout the year.

According to junior Sarah Schlitter, SGA treasurer, having all groups on the same playing field will make things easier.

“We are hoping to allocate more money in the spring and give groups more money,” Schlitter said.

Another change in the finance code will require groups to present a constitution to SGA. Senior Kyle Liske, student body president, said the constitution was not meant to form hardships.

“It was not intended to limit groups,” Liske said, “but this way it will keep SGA informed.”

Liske said that constitutions could consist of a mission statement of the group as well as information about who is in charge, the hierarchy of the organization and the group’s structure. Groups will also be required to produce receipts for their spending throughout the year using the Symplicity software.

Liske said he could not give a measure of how groups on campus feel about the changes.

“I think there are mixed feelings about it,” Liske said. “I think smaller groups are pleased with it.”

He said that some bigger groups consider the new rules a burden, while all groups may feel they are going the extra mile when they have to produce receipts for their spending.

Some groups on campus are frustrated with the new rules. Junior Lynnette Snyder, president of the Math Club, said with little advance notice about the changes, clubs are scrambling to get everything together by the deadline.

“We appreciate getting the money, but it would have been nice to have a chance to get things together,” Snyder said. “We were only notified of the budget policy’s changes a few weeks before all of the information has to be in and everyone has classes and other things to do, so compiling the information is difficult.”

Schlitter said SGA received an e-mail from one group asking about the details of the constitution, but other than that there hasn’t been much feedback.

“With any change, people are going to be uncertain, because they don’t like change,” Schlitter said. “But I think after next year, things will be smoother.”

Liske got the idea of the constitution and budgeting from other private colleges in Iowa. He thinks the changes are positive.

“The goal is not to have groups coming in every few weeks needing money,” Liske said. “We hope to have some of the smaller groups become more independent. I think it makes more sense.”

As for this year’s operating budget, Liske says everything is coming together.

“Everything is looking good,” Liske said. “We have about $3,000 left in the operating budget, and we still have a few things we might contribute to. The budget looks good now.”