Student activity fee increases as enrollment shrinks
By Andrew Kutzer
Student government board members approved the preliminary budget plan for the 2017-18 academic year in the final weeks of the fall semester. Board members approved a $10 adjustment to the student activity fee, increasing from $131 to $141 due to a decrease in enrollment at KU.
“This was the biggest raise Kutztown has ever seen, but our student activity [fee] remains the lowest between all the state schools,” said SGB Treasurer Johan Van Wyk.
The SGB budget is projected to shrink from $2,113,191 to around $2,071,875 for fall 2017 and spring 2018.
“Due to the large decrease in enrollment, we had a much smaller budget to work with,” said Van Wyk. “Although our income decreased, we saw more clubs requesting a budget. [We] had to make some significant cuts in some departments, as well as raise the student activity fee.”
Student organizations, including Commuter Student Organization, Vegetarian Education Group, English Club and others, are classed together in a larger section of the budget. This group saw an overall projected increase of $7,508.
Other clubs are separated into groups of similar organizations. Music organizations that receive funding by SGB saw a projected overall cut of $14,000. Media organization funding is projected to have an overall decrease of $3,408. Special programs, including KUnited, the SUB movie series and welcome week, saw an overall projected increase of $5,700.
Around $1.4 million was budgeted for student clubs, organizations and programs and $665,237 for SGA and KUSSI expenses. “The decision on whether to increase or decrease a club’s budget is very challenging,” said Van Wyk. “I am sure all clubs could use an increase but unfortunately, due to the limited amount of money available, that is not possible.”
According to Van Wyk, SGB takes a look at different qualifiers when determining an
organization’s budget: performance, size, activity on campus, fundraising, previous expenditures and student interest in all club events are used when determining whether to increase or decrease individual club budgets.
Student organizations are required to submit budgets to SGB for review and an appeal period is allowed to address any concerns before the final budget is sent for approval.
The preliminary budget requires approval by the board, KUSSI and KU administration, according to Van Wyk.