The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

From the Vice – President’s Pen

Posted by iusbvision on March 31, 2007

Most students are aware that the SGA is the voice of the student body to the administration; however, a unique authority that we also maintain is the appropriation of the Student Activity Fee (SAF) budget.  The SAF funds the operation of the SAC, athletics (both basketball teams, Intramurals, and Club Sports), student life (Titan Productions, Student Government Association, & Office of Student Life) publications (Preface, New Views on Gender, Undergraduate Research Journal, & Analecta), health services (the Health and Wellness Center & Counseling Center), the Child Development Center, and the Arts Department (for student ticket costs).  The Budget Committee presented their recommendation to the SGA at the March 23, 2007 meeting.  After discussion, the SGA passed the budget 10-2 (“no” votes due to absences).  From this point, the budget will be passed on to Vice Chancellor Caul and Chancellor Reck for approval.  Several changes have been made this year to the budget and the student body should be aware of the reasoning behind them.

–  The SGA maintained the same level of appropriation as last year’s budget of $670,000.  We worked hard to develop a fair budget that would not be detrimental to any organization receiving funding, yet would reflect the level at which we felt the recipients could operate.  The two largest portions of the budget went to the Student Activity Center and Athletics (Men’s and Women’s basketball teams), respectively receiving $165,500 and $181,000.  These were slight cuts of 0.66% and 0.02%; however, the SGA felt that there were areas from which money could be saved in expenditures.  Club Sports received the same funding as last year at $8,200.  Intramurals were increased 4.17% to $10,000 to help with the rising costs of officials.

– With the potential to run somewhat self-sufficiently, the SGA decided to appropriate $25,000 to the Preface (a 7.74% cut).  All three student journals (URJ, NVG, and Analecta) were appropriated $4,500 each, for a total of $13,500.  This was over a 48% increase from last year’s $9117.  Last year, the URJ was not published, but this year, the goal is to print all three journals.

– The Child Development Center had to decrease their size last year by one room after a decrease in their budget appropriation.  They were also unable to maintain a director and have been operating with an interim director this year. The SGA felt that their funding must be increased to allow for operation within reasonable expectations.  We appropriated them $50,000, an increase of $5,000 from last year.

– Titan Productions received $61,300, a decrease of 2.4% from last year’s $62,806.  Much of the Titan Production budget is fluid and has room for a small amount of fluctuation.  The SGA’s own budget underwent several changes.  First, we again took a cut and are operating at $56,000, a 2.61% decrease.  Within the appropriation itself, stipends were cut by $10,900.  The new stipends are reflective of the amount of time SGA members are required to serve office hours (based on Constitutional guidelines).  These changes also allow more money to go to student clubs.  The Office of Student Life was increased slightly to $66,500.

– Counseling Center received $3,000 to pay for informational brochures, an online screening program, and a summer secretary (last year, the Counseling Center received no funding due to non-submission of a funding request).

– The last budget change that the SGA approved is one that we spent many hours debating.  For the last several years, the SGA has appropriated money to the Arts Department to offset the cost of student ticket prices so students could receive events tickets free of charge.  The logic behind this was to help students who had events attendance obligations to fulfill.  Last year, the SGA appropriated $36,482 for this purpose.  However, at the beginning of this year, a vote by the Arts faculty abolished the Events Attendance program and gave the professors back the right to set their own individual events requirements for their classes.  In light of this and with no reformatted Attendance plan formally organized for next year, the SGA was uncomfortable appropriating funding again.  We felt that the money would be much better used to fill the current student healthcare gap that exists.  Therefore, we appropriated $30,000 to the Health and Wellness Center to help with the cost of staffing the Center full-time.  This funding will enable more students to receive healthcare at low-cost rates.

Overall, the budgetary process was very arduous, yet in the end, we feel that we have succeeded in fairly appropriating the Student Activity Funds.  Special thanks should go to Treasurer Ben Peak for his countless hours in organizing the budget process and to the Budget committee members as well for their time invested in this.  If the student has any questions regarding the budget, please feel free to contact any member of the SGA at or in SAC 202.

Joanna Reusser

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