Tuition covers all aspects of a student’s college experience from making a beautiful campus to the classes they attend. One of the most memorable experiences is campus life, which thanks to student tuition, is possible.
The money comes from the student activities fees which is part of students’ tuition. This year the fee is $210 per student. The fees have increased from $180 and will continue to increase for the next two years and stop at $230 per student according to Manuel Carreiro, vice president and dean of student affairs. The Student Government Association gets the majority of the student activities fees in order to fund chartered organizations.
In addition to paying for student organizations’ budget, student activities fees pay for the new student center construction, the medical center, student organizations and programming, athletics and leadership programs, Carreiro said.
SGA’s budget is currently $550,000. Its budget is divided to fund 44 chartered student organizations, including the Student Programming Board with a budget of $310,000, according to Erik Cote, vice president of finance for SGA. The remainder is then split between clubs and administrative costs, Carreiro said.
“SPB usually gets the largest sum because of the nature of what they do,” said Daniel Brown, assistant dean of student affairs and director of the student center. “By the nature of what SPB does, they benefit the most students because they’re programming for the entire student body.”
The requirements to get funding from SGA is for the student center to recognize a student organization for a year, and the organization cannot be exclusive.
If an organization has limits to who may join, it is not able to get a budget from SGA Cote said.
Recognized organizations means they’re approved by the student center while chartered means organizations receive their budget from SGA, Cote said.
Chartered clubs apply for budgets every spring for the next year. The budgeting process begins with budget workshops, in which clubs are informed about budgeting with SGA. Next, clubs apply for a budget with a requested amount, which is decided by the finance committee and SGA’s approval.
“What the finance committee and SGA look for when allocating money out is, is this program or event going to benefit the entire student body,” Brown said.
The Psychology Club has one of the smallest budgets, but finds the budgeting process helpful.
“It’s actually a really easy process, I’m very happy about it,” Treasurer of the Psychology Club Adam Hoffman said.
Missing a budget workshop jeopardizes an organization’s chance of receiving funding, meaning it cannot get funding from SGA that year. This leaves an organization with outside funding or special appeal as their only options.
After missing a budget meeting, the International Club relied on special appeal money and outside funding from other multi-cultural clubs and the Albert Schweitzer’s Institute.
The International Club’s budget is around $2,000 this year compared to $4,000 it used to receive, according to Bigyan Dahal, a junior and treasurer of the International Club.
Student organizations must plan for events a year in advance in their budget proposals. Budgets are based on monthly events. Every month SGA takes back a club’s unspent budget money and reallocates it for special appeal, Cote said.
Any recognized student organization may go through special appeal for money every month. The amount is usually about $5,000, Cote said.
President of the Anime Club Jennifer Andreozzi said the Anime club requested for $5,144.75 but received $3,913.80 as this year’s budget.
“I think it’s fair but it’s obvious that the really big clubs like SPB and QUAD get a lot more than everyone else but they’ve also been around a lot longer than other clubs and they know what to ask for and they have the set events that they do, so that makes sense,” Andreozzi said.
Members of the Anime Club funded for the club themselves prior to getting funding from SGA.
“Not having a budget was simpler,” Andreozzi said. “We did not have to worry about it.”
SGA used to fund student media organizations, but it had very little control because they were very expensive with a lot of equipment and maintenance, Carreiro said. Anything with equipment works directly with Carreiro, including the Chronicle, Q30, WQAQ, Montage and the Summit yearbook.
Carreiro considers outside money, such as advertising, for media organizations’ budgets. As media organizations’ budgets increase, SGA’s budget does as well, he said.
The media organizations that receive the most funding are WQAQ and the Chronicle, both around $30,000, according to Carreiro.
“Our budget is among the higher in the media groups, which is good because we need a lot of it for our spring concert and also our Music for Meals because those are expensive events,” WQAQ General Manager Kyle Murphy said. “We do meet our budget and I’m trying to exercise it as much as I can this semester so I can justify it for next semester.”
Media organizations’ budgets are reviewed during the middle of the year and at the end of the year, making sure they are following their budget proposal.
“The extra budget money goes back to an account that in case there is a rainy day in the future, you can use that account, so there’s no waste,” Carreiro said.