Senate cuts organization funding

Student organizations will be getting $13,000 less in allocations this year, according to a final budget passed by the Student Association Senate Tuesday night.

After a nearly month-long process that included an audit of all student organizations, an opportunity for groups to protest their funding and an eight-hour special Senate meeting last week, the body’s Finance Committee made final changes to original proposals this week.

“I think at the last meeting things went a little too fast, but now people had a week to go through take another look and reflect on what happened,” said Jordyn Cosme (U-At Large), chairman of the Finance Committee. “Last week was a sort of the follow-the-leader and not everyone was looking at what was best for the entire student population, but this week some changes were made and now we are happier with the final product.”

In completing budget deliberations, the Senate cut $1,000 each from the budgets of the College Democrats and College Republicans, which received allocations of $9,800 and $9,500, respectively. Last year, both groups received $10,000 each.

“I was on the Finance Committee last year so I understand how hard it is to juggle what student organizations want and what the SA has to give out,” said Justin Neidig, chairman of public relations for the College Republicans.

Neidig added that while the $200 loss will not greatly affect his group, he was disappointed that the Finance Committee’s appeals process seemed almost like a “hostile environment.”

EMeRG. survived two failed amendments that would have decreased its final allocation of $5,800.

“It’s unfortunate that EMeRG. looked like a pawn, but that was not the intent,” Cosme said. “We were not saying that EMeRG. is not important, we were just trying to say that it should be fully funded by the University.”

The medical response group successfully petitioned for funding at last week’s meeting but still finds itself $800 short of their allocations from last year.

The Senate also decreased the Interfraternity Council’s allocation by $2,000, bringing their final funding to $11,000. The group was originally slated to receive $10,000 but petitioned for more money.

While the Senate has completed its budget process, its Finance Committee’s job is not fully done. The SA has close to $31,000 left to allocate to student groups that did not submit a budget or submitted an incomplete funding request.

Additionally, the Finance Committee urged all student organizations disappointed with their initial allocation to apply for co-sponsorships. After last week’s first round of co-sponsorships were distributed, the committee has more than $102,000 remaining to allocate through additional grants. Co-sponsorships allow the SA to partially fund other groups’ events.

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