Senate Budget Cut by a Third

Allie Brennhofer

Student Senate’s budget is down by a third from last year, and the tighter budget is already impacting the way campus clubs are funded.

While there are no firm numbers yet, Financial Vice President Bailey Barber spoke about the budget. This decrease in budget is the effect of switching to the $95 Student Services Fee, instead of the activity fee that was a small percentage of every student’s tuition.

“We still have to have our meetings with Sue [Kerry] and Finances and everything. But our starting budget for the year is 33 percent less than it was last year. Plus we have debts to cover and a chunk of our money is going to departmental funds, like PT Club, OT Club, Math Club and those things … So we have a significant amount less,” FVP Barber said.

She added on, later in the meeting, that there would hopefully be some numbers by the next meeting.

Student Activities requested $28,000 for sporting events, concerts, and the homecoming dance. The Finance Committee moved to allocate $3,000 for the homecoming dance alone. The remaining
$25,000 for sports and concert tickets would go towards purchasing tickets and transportation, so the school can offer them to students at a lower cost.

“The reason that Finance Committee cut this down, we voted on just funding the homecoming dance because with such a shortage of funds this year, we as a committee didn’t feel like it was a good use of our money to reach the most students that we could,” FVP Barber said. “Obviously they are really nice events, but we just didn’t feel like it was the best use of our funds for the year.”

Senator Rachel Anderson asked Marisa Sanderson, who is from Student Activities as well as one of the Senate advisors, why this funding was not included in her budget for the year.

“I do get a small chunk of budget money. But my budget has never increased over the years that I’ve worked here, so we’ve put on more things for the students but we have the same amount of money,” Sanderson said.

Senate ultimately decided to award the $3,000 for the homecoming dance and to table the remainder of the request until the next meeting with a vote of 28 yeses and one no vote. The specific stipulation to table the request was required if Student Activities wanted to come back and request those funds again because an organization or club is not allowed to request funds that Senate has already voted on.

One organization, CHOICES, did not show up. If a requester does not show up to the meeting, their request is thrown out and they must submit a new one if they still wish to request that money from Senate.

Club/Organization Amount Requested Vote (Yes,No,Present)
Student Activities $28,000 for tickets and homecoming dance, received $3,000 28-1-0
CSS Catholic $500 for a Catholic musician, David Haas, to come to campus 28-0-1
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship $2,705 for retreat 28-1-0
Oxfam $1,085 for poverty week 29-0-0