SGA reviews organizations on line-item status

by Rhea Purvis

Simpson’s Student Government Association has called a review of its line-item organizations, the groups on campus that are guaranteed some level of funding from SGA every year.

According to junior Liz Van Hook, SGA treasurer, the finance code allows SGA to review line-item organizations every March.

To maintain line-item status or to become a line-item organization, at least one representative of the organization must attend a meeting with SGA where the group’s impact on the campus will be discussed and voted on by the senators.

Van Hook said the review isn’t a new procedure, and the decision to do the review this year came through a consensus of SGA senators.

According to Van Hook, groups must meet four criteria to be approved for line-item status by SGA. They must be a recognized group for two years, have an impact on the college community, offer a new service and be in need of the funding.

“So far we have reviewed five and they have all been accepted,” Van Hook said.

The groups reviewed thus far are Campus Activities Board, Intramural Council, KSTM radio, The Simpsonian and the Zenith.

SGA met yesterday to review six more applicants – Alpha Psi Omega, First Year Council, LGBTQA, Religious Life Community, Sequel and Students In Free Enterprise. Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor society, and SIFE haven’t been line-item organizations before and are applying for the first time.

Once SGA has voted on every group applying for line-item status, it will begin working on the budget. Representatives from every line-item organization can meet with SGA after finals to begin the budgeting process.

Sophomore Kathy Dierking is a member of SGA’s budget committee. She said it’s important to review these organizations, especially so SGA can meet with members of the groups that are applying for continued line-item status.

“Requiring representatives shows that the organization cares and that the group is taken care of,” Dierking said. “It is also more personal and they can say what they think.”

Essentially, once an organization has been granted line-item status, it knows it will receive funds from SGA – it just doesn’t know how much.

According to Van Hook, the budget will not be finalized until next fall. She said while SGA tries to give appropriate funds to every organization, it can be difficult to balance how much money each group requests and how much money SGA has to give out.

“We don’t want to take money away from organizations, but it all depends on what we have to give and the particular needs of the organization,” Van Hook said.

Senior Becka Neary recognizes the need for line-item organizations. Last year she was the student advisor for the First Year Council, which organizes Lil’ Sibs Weekend. Since this group isn’t a line item, it had to request money for the weekend.

Neary said she would have been happier if the group had line-item status so it could have had a budget to plan with all year long instead of petitioning for funds from SGA.

“It was frustrating because second semester SGA has typically given out all the money they were allotted for the year,” Neary said. “When an event that requires around $4,000 needs to be covered by someone to continue this tradition, it is tough.”