Several restrictions were placed on funding for student organizations by members of the Student Association (SA) during Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) Weekend.
Vice President of Finance Youssouf Kouyo said this semester and last semester, SA organizations depleted the general programing line of the budget, and something had to be done to prevent that from reoccuring.
“We ran out of money [in general programming] by the middle of the semester,” Kouyo said. “We were wondering why we were running out of money so fast.”
Kouyo and the BFC assembled on March 30 and 31 and placed stipulations on how money is to be requested for the general programming fund in the next academic year.
To deter this from happening next year, BFC and Kouyo decided to set general stipulations for all organizations that are funded by the mandatory student activity fee. These stipulations come after finding out that in the fiscal year of 2012-13, there will be $179,785 in the general programming fund. That is $31,215 less than what was available this year.
Kouyo said one of the biggest changes made during BFC Budget Preparation Weekend was that organizations with line items, or a budget specific to their club, cannot go into general programming.
“This year [student clubs and organizations with line items] were allowed to go into general programming and some of the clubs were being a little too greedy,” Kouyo said. “And it’s not fair to the other clubs.”
The general programming line of the budget is a pool of money used to fund programs and events. For the fiscal year of 2012-13, this money will only be accessible to clubs on campus that do not have a line item. However, Kouyo and BFC members have created a set criteria that must be met by line-item clubs if they need to access money in general
Kouyo said line-item clubs can only have access to general programming if there is a significant price increase in an item that was already approved by BFC in the organization’s line-item request. In the case of sports clubs, they can access general programming to fund their participation in a postseason event such as regional or national games. Line-item clubs can also access general programming if they “maintain a good standing and [are] chartered by the Council of Organizations.”
If line-item clubs meet one of those criterion, they must appeal to the vice president of finance before they go in front of BFC. The vice president of finance will “determine if the criterion exists for the club to present to [BFC].” Once they’re in front of BFC, they’ll have to explain why they need more money than the line-item budget they already requested, Kouyo said.
“In terms of general programming, the amount of money went down but proportionally it will work out fine because groups with line item won’t be able to apply for general programming,” SA President Terrell Coakley said. “So it’ll work out in the long run.”
Changes were also made to funding for transportation. Only two thirds of total transport costs will be covered by SA. Kouyo said most of the time SA paid the full amount for transportation for trips. However, because of the foreseen budget constraints, student organizations will have to come up with the other one third of the cost. Kouyo suggested that student organizations can make up the difference in trip funding by charging students $5 to $10 to attend.
They also tightened some of the restrictions on the funding for certain events. Student organizations who violate SA’s new policies or constitution will not receive funding.
“Some of the clubs are holding events in bars which involve alcohol,” Kouyo said. “It’s a direct violation of our insurance policy.”
Kouyo said the insurance policy states that SA can only fund an event if there’s no alcohol involved.
“I think that BFC did a great job and they really worked hard to construct the budget so that it was in the benefit of the campus,” Coakley said. “They really did a lot of work in two or three days so I commend them for their job.”
These new rules and stipulations will be implemented in August 2012.