Certain groups to see less funding in 2015-2016, despite fee increase

By Emily Leayman

Student Government Board (SGB) released its preliminary budget for the 2015-2016 academic year on Friday, Nov. 14, showing less funding for student groups. SGB received requests totaling $2 million from student groups, and only $1.4 million is available to allocate, according to Matt Assad, SGB’s treasurer.

With a projected 3 percent decline in enrollment, the student activity fee increased $5 to $127.50. This decision aims to offset costs while helping growing organizations. The student activity fee remains the lowest in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). With the increase, about $75,000 to $80,000 more can be allocated.

Even so, the budget and finance committee had to cut $600,000 from requests. Joanathan Quezada, part of the budget and finance committee, said that SGB does not have enough money to approve all requests.

“We just try to do the best we can with the money we have,” he said.

Assad hopes that raising the fee, which will allocate more to groups like Association of Campus Events (ACE) and Allies, will positively affect enrollment.

ACE received $2,000 more, bringing its allocation to $152,000, according to the preliminary budget report. Assad attributed this increase to large campus events such as Piper Kerman’s visit, which brought many people from the local region.

Groups that received more funding had a “good budget packet,” which earned a lot of fundraising money last year and held big events, according to Assad.

When considering allocations, SGB looks at how many students it will reach. After the large-scale Homecoming concert with Chance the Rapper, SGB increased the money for the concert reserve from $10,000 to $20,000 and Homecoming from $14,900 to $16,000.

Other funding is required. The contractual fee for KUnited went up by $1,250 to $9,250. SGB started allocating to KUnited for the 2012-13 year with an allotment of $3,819.

Some of the steepest decreases in funding went to the marching band and Greek Council, which lost $2,000 and $2,500, respectively.

Many requests for conference funding did not get approved, with SGB emphasizing campus events.

Another reason for the decrease is that last year $80,000 in student money went unused.

“That number should be close to nothing,” Assad said.

Unused money from each group’s budget accounts is put in a reserve on June 30 of the spring semester, according to Dawn Williams, senior accountant for KU Student Services, Inc.

Fewer requests for funding came in this year, however. Assad said student groups requested about $100,000 less than last year.

After the student groups had a chance to appeal from Monday to Wednesday, the SGB budget and finance committee reconsidered the budgets on Thursday and will post the updated report on Friday. After the Thanksgiving break, SGB will meet and approve the budgets.



Categories: News

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