Student Association allocation process moved up to spring

Student organizations will have to start planning next year’s budgets early to apply for Student Association funding in late spring for 2013 allocations.

The Student Association Finance Committee is pushing its allocations process up to the spring semester, after the Center for Student Engagement announced a policy that will only allow new groups to form in the spring.

Finance committee chair Alex Mizenko said the move prevented a “logistical nightmare” for groups to wait weeks into the school year for allocations after launching in the spring.

He said the process will also help newly elected executive boards, typically selected in the spring, plan out yearly budgets early so they can get off the ground earlier in the fall.

In past years, groups submitted budgets in mid-September.

But the spring allocations could offer thousands fewer dollars for student organizations because the SA Finance Committee will have only an estimate of its funding pool.

The full budget will not be calculated until students’ credit hours for the fall are processed, Mizenko said. He said the organization will hold a second, smaller round of allocations in the fall, similar to the process currently held in the spring, in which about 15 percent of SA funds are doled out.

“We can’t over-allocate and then owe the University money,” Mizenko said, adding that the SA will count on organizations to be more frugal with their budgets and team up with similar groups for events.

The new allocations process marks the second major overhaul of the process in two years, after the SA created a new allocations process last year that gave out about 85 percent of its budget through fall allocations, rather than two rounds that gave out half the funding at a time.

Student organization registration for this fall will continue to remain open until Nov. 1. For the first time this year, new student organizations could launch without requesting funds from the SA.

The SA Senate passed its allocations bill Monday, doling out more than $800,000 of its total about $945,000 budget.

The Student Association earns $1.50 per credit hour from every student with a University match of 50 cents, but Mizenko said the funding is not enough to fund more than 500 student organizations.

The SA is also moving forward with a referendum to increase the student fee, which will go to a student-wide vote later this semester. The fee was last increased in 2008, adding an incremental 10-cent increase over the last five years.

The last increase took effect in fall 2011, leading this year’s Student Association budget to drop for the first time in five years.

“The student fee will play a big part in this. If it were to go up, we probably could safely allocate this year’s 85 percent, because we know we’ll have higher revenue,” Mizenko said.

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