Simpson College Student Government Association (SGA) recently approved line-item budgets for the current academic year.
According to senior Liz Van Hook, student government treasurer, every student pays a $225 student activity fee, which makes up the budget for the SGA. SGA then allocates this money to various organizations around campus, called line-item groups.
“In order to be a line-item group, there are certain qualifications,” Van Hook said. “(The groups) must be a recognized organization for two years, have a campus-wide impact, provide a service to student body that isn’t already provided and demonstrate a need for funding prior to the start of the academic year.”
Line-item groups include Campus Activities Board, KSTM, Intramurals, Zenith, The Simpsonian, Sequel, Religious Life Council and on-campus health services. These groups are reviewed by SGA, and they are either approved or denied their status based on whether they meet the criteria.
“(The groups) come to us with what they spent last year, and what they’re going to do with that money to improve their organization,” said senior Eric Adams, student body president.
In the spring, budget hearings are held for the line-item groups. The groups present how much money they are requesting and how they used the money they received last year.
The budget committee is made up of one senator from each class and a chairperson. The budget committee then makes its recommendations to SGA who has final say over the actual amount the groups receive.
This year, the budget before line-item was $280,000. CAB received $134,000, and KSTM received $9,000 to help with the upkeep of the radio station. Intramurals received $25,000, funding that goes toward paying for games, tournaments and prizes while Zenith received $29,946. The Simpsonian was given $8,175 and Sequel received $4,000, which goes to help put out the literary and arts magazine. The Sequel asked for more money this year due to a desire to increase in size. RLC received $36,000.
One advantage that the groups falling under line-item status can look forward to is an increase in funding every year.
“Line-item will increase by a certain percent each year because of the new fiscal year coming out,” said Senior Class President Evan Schaefer. “Nine to 12 [percent] was pretty close to the range that [each group] increased.”
After line-item, SGA has $25,679 left to work with, which its uses to distribute funds to various organizations across campus. Any non-line-item group that’s registered with the school may submit requests for funds. They meet with the budget committee and go through much the same process as line-item groups. The funds they are given are based on what they will use the money for. Budgetary restraints are also considered.
“We try to be fair and mindful,” Van Hook said. “We try to fund as many groups as possible within reason given their justification.”