April 11, 2014
SGA changes budgeting processSGA Treasurer Dylan Furlano explained the changes behind this year's budgeting process for clubs and organizations on campus.
According to Furlano, the budget and finance manual has been vague and interpreted in various ways by the Budget and Finance Committee members during the past few years.
This year Furlano and her committee, which consisted of SGA President Tyler Shields and class treasurers Craig Fought, Derek Butler, Steven McDonald and Meaghan Wilson, worked to update and clarify the manual to be easily understood and interpreted by treasurers and committees in the future.
"We did an overhaul of the manual this time and decided this is what we're going to work with," Furlano said.
Because of the manual being unclear and vague, Furlano explained that it allowed for an arbitrary system to be put into place without fault or blame on any particular person; however, it created an inconsistent set of guidelines.
"This year, my goal was to really try to make a consistent set of guidelines and to make a manual that then reflected those guidelines," Furlano said.
Clubs and organizations on campus have in the past come to SGA with an idea for a trip or conference to attend, but without an exact budget or pricing in mind. Whether it was an estimate on how much hotels would cost or deciding a piece of equipment would cost somewhere between two certain amounts, this vagueness and lack of certainty in how much money is needed can cause a problem for SGA budgeting, according to Furlano. Students pay a $250 activities fee, and SGA wants to see that money going toward good use.
"What we really wanted to do this year is, say that if a club wants to go on a trip, we want them to come in the fall to what is called a Supplemental Hearing," Furlano said.
A Supplemental Hearing is when a representative from a club or organization reaches out to the SGA treasurer and provides a breakdown of costs for what needs funding, including trips to conferences and weekend excursions.
"It's not that we don't want to fund it, it's that we want to fund exactly how much it is," Furlano said. "We see this as a way to more efficiently and effectively spend the student activities fees. We don't want to hold on to it. We don't want to keep it for ourselves. We just want to make sure it is spent effectively, so we can really get the most out of everyone's dollar."
By only allocating funds to clubs and organizations that provide exact costs and breakdowns, SGA wants to take the money they have and spread it further so more students can reap the benefits of their student activities fee.
Clubs and organizations are encouraged to reach out to next year's SGA treasurer to set up budgeting meetings and get more information on the process they can go through to receive funds.
"These changes are being made with the best intent of the student body, which is what SGA is really about," Furlano said.
Students with questions or comments are encouraged to email Dylan Furlano at any time this year. Next year's SGA treasurer will be Steven McDonald.
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