SGA budget brings stress, frustration and potential protests

Stephen MacLeod

The Student Government Association (SGA) has prepared its budget for the 2018-19 school year and is hoping to appeal for more money that meets the requested budgets of student organizations.

The $614,465 proposed budget will fund 76 clubs. The money is in line with the 2017-18 year, despite the fact that requests by clubs totaled $789,506. Only six clubs were fully funded. Every other club had to have its budget maintained or it unable to have its events funded.

Last year, SGA was unable to fully fund off-campus travel, conferences, competitions, movie nights and several on-campus events. SGA was only able to fund some off-campus events and conferences after Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson gifted SGA $50,000 in additional funding to attend competitions.

SGA President Ryan Hicks hopes to appeal to Provost Mark Thompson for an additional $125,000 to be able to help clubs grow and have a more complete student experience.

Hicks said he feels the smaller budget is stunting the growth of student organizations at a time when Quinnipiac is promoting its growth and trying to establish a culture. As VP of Finance in 2017-18 , Hicks has had personal experience with how tight the current budget is. Hicks has advocated for an increased budget both in meetings, on the campaign trail and will likely during his presidency.

Several members of SGA have independently voiced their frustration with the process and are calling to peacefully protest.

“I’m a senior and for the past 4 years the school has been saying there’s a branding issues, there’s a culture issue,” Ian Zeitlin, a former senior class representative, said. “The way I see it, giving students the money to put on the events they want helps build that culture.”

Zeitlin has publicly called for protests twice at SGA meetings. The first time he called for protest was at the budget meeting on April 11, stating he shared frustration with the groups and hoped they would consider standing and protesting the budget cuts.

The second time, Zeitlin announced that several members of various student organizations will be protesting the budget in front of the library at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

SGA had its budget cut by about $150,000 at the start of the year. The cuts came as a result of a three year budget review which determined that SGA usually only spends $600,000 all year. However, those cuts forced SGA to make other significant cuts to their budget for the upcoming year. This year, SGA spent all of its budget as well as brought in $30,000 on its own, which they hope to get back into their budget.

The budget cuts have caused a lot of traditional yearly events to either be cut or be unable to be funded.

The Quinnipiac Black Students Union were unable to get a formal and received a cut to their annual fashion show. Zeitlin pointed to this club as something that is causing the culture at Quinnipiac to suffer, as these events are standard at other schools with similar organizations.

Hicks has said that if he is able to meet with incoming President Judy Olian, this would be something he would hope to talk to her about. He hopes the new administration will look to spend more focus on the student experience to help Quinnipiac establish a proper culture.