The Student Bar Association unanimously voted to disburse more than $80,000 in annual funding to 44 law school student organizations at their meeting Tuesday.
The Student Bar Association Budget Allocation Act disbursed a total of $194,537 into three categories – $88,708 for student organizations, $30,000 to an ad hoc fund to be disbursed throughout the academic year and $75,289 for the executive budget. The act cut the executive budget to maintain funding for student organizations consistent with previous years despite a smaller overall budget due to the University officials separating funding for university-wide events.
SBA Sen. John Tuley, the chair of the finance committee and the sponsor of the act, said the SA reduced the SBA’s budget due to the SA’s budget shrinking. He said the executive branch of the SBA has “other sources of revenue,” like money it saved during the pandemic, to make up for cuts to its budget.
“The budget is significantly less than it was a year ago,” he said.
Tuley said the finance committee ensured it would provide student organizations with at least the same amount as it received last year. The budget denied appeals from four student organizations asking for more funding than was recommended by the finance committee.
Tuley said the finance committee also cut the ad hoc budget because last year, senators donated leftover ad hoc funds to the Student Assistance Fund, which will give money to students who need assistance with funding needs like emergency food and transportation. He said he did not recommend using ad hoc funding to fulfill appeals to the budget because it will take from money that organizations may unexpectedly need later in the year.
“That’s where the ad hoc budget will be used, so I would caution against pulling from that,” he said. “The only other option would then be to pull from what’s recommended to other organizations.”
The three organizations that received the most funding from allocations were Law Revue at $12,068, the Black Student Law Association at $10,990 and the International Law Society at $7,100. The SBA rejected the Black Student Law Association’s appeal for an additional $2,000 to make up for an unfulfilled funding request last year.
The SBA also unanimously passed the Senate Fall 2022 Organizing Resolution, which sets the SBA’s meeting calendar, creates a template for SBA agendas and sets out the rules of debate.
SBA Vice President of Finance Scott Glaser said in his executive report that the executive finance team will have a “strict policy” on reimbursement requests from student organizations. He said an organization has three attempts to submit proper reimbursement documentation to the SBA executive cabinet, which will in turn submit the request to the University finance office before the cabinet asks the organization to submit their request to the University finance office directly.
“We’re essentially the middle man, me and my team,” he said.
The next Student Bar Association meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 9:15 p.m. in the Law Learning Center.