As second semester has kicked off at Simpson College, the school’s Student Government Association (SGA) is nearing the possibility of zeroing out its operating budget.
The SGA operating budget consists of money the organization uses to fund organizations across campus. According to the SGA Financial Advisory Committee chair Jessalyn Holdcraft, this year’s operating budget was estimated to be $350,000.
The SGA operating budget is built up from the student activities fee students pay every year. According to the Simpson College website, the amount of student activities fee was set at $321 for the 2014-2015 academic year.
A number of delegates in SGA said since the budget is built from the student activities fees, the senate makes it a goal to try to zero out the operating budget.
“The goal is to zero out the operating budget because that means that students are getting the most value for their student activities fee,” Holdcraft said.
Holdcraft added, “If we do not get enough requests or SGA doesn’t know how to spend it, for example campus day, then there is money left over which means some student’s student activities fee is not being spent.”
Holdcraft said one aspect that made zeroing out the operating budget easy was groups asking for complete funding at the beginning of the year, and not coming to SGA throughout the school requesting funding.
Money that is left over from the operating budget goes into a carry over budget, which acts as a reserve fund.
“The reserve, generally what we use it for, is not for typical allocations,” Holdcraft said. “It’s not for organizations to come ask us for money, it’s usually for bigger projects.”
Moving forward with the operating budget almost completely allocated, SGA will begin to look at ways they may be able to spend the operating budget across the campus.
Holdcraft expects the budget to zero out over the next two SGA meetings.