Freeze to student activities fee limits SGA’s ability to fund groups

by Bridgett Gardiner and Megan Quick

Only one of the first six student groups asking for funding from Simpson College’s Student Government Association (SGA) had its full budget request met.

On Friday, Aug. 24, SGA representatives voted on budget proposals from Campus Activities Board (CAB), Religious Life Community (RLC), Intramurals, The Simpsonian, KSTM radio and the college’s new Organization Board.

However, due to budget concerns following a freeze to this year’s $290 student activities fee, SGA cut all but RLC’s proposal. Each student pays the activities fee, and the money is then allocated to groups by SGA.

With the freeze giving SGA a total of about $330,000 available for student groups for the 2012-2013 academic year, it couldn’t afford to increase funding for any of the groups, Student Body President JoAnna Freeland said in a Wednesday meeting.

“We have to be realistic about not being able to really increase any of the budgets,” Freeland said. “It’s unfortunate but that’s just how it is. The expectation is there, we have to do the best we can with the money that we have.”

While budgets couldn’t be increased this year, all but one of the returning groups, The Simpsonian, received at least the same amount as requested the previous year.

“This is SGA’s way of saying we’re behind the administration trying to help make sure that kids don’t have to pay more,” Freeland said.

Funding breakdown

-CAB requested $170,000. The group received a total of $162,500, the same amount they were allocated for the 2011-2012 school year.

-RLC requested $45,600 and received the full amount, decreasing their own budget by 4.60 percent from 2011-2012. The group had money left over from last year still left to be used, Freeland said.

-Intramurals requested a total of $38,000 and received $28,000. The cut was a result of a lack of justification on how the funds would be used, Freeland said.

-The Simpsonian requested a total of $23,250 and received $19,300, a 2.38 percent reduction from the 2011-2012 allocation.

-KSTM Radio requested a total of $10,016.94, and received $9,072, the same amount as the previous year.

-The campus’s new Organization Board requested $10,000 and received $9,760.

Following the first round of funding, SGA’s operating budget, which will be used to fund future requests from smaller groups, sits at $55,288.

Smaller groups will meet with SGA’s treasurer, freshman class president, and the budget committee when asking for future funds, Freeland said. Those meetings will consist of a base amount of questions for all groups determining their overall goals and intent for the funds requested.

“Especially just making sure that the money we’re giving is going towards what they say it’s going towards,” Freeland said. “We’re trying to make sure that the money we have is spent wisely because we realize that it’s not just our money, it’s all the student body’s money.”

SGA is hoping that incoming freshman class sizes continue to increase as they did this year, Freeland said. This will hopefully help with the budget in the years to come.