SGA cuts thousands from student organization budgets

(Amanda Martin)

SGA allocated $299,566 to six organizations, including itself, at its annual budget meeting on Friday, Feb. 24.

The meeting began at 5:45 p.m. and ran until 2:28 a.m. The meeting was expected to run until 11:30 p.m. SGA considered 11 funding requests with six being their own.

Due to an increase in the number of clubs and decrease in students attending the University, budgets needed to be cut. Club members were asked where they were willing to make cuts in their budgets in advance.

All clubs suggested funds be cut from promotional items.

SGA recommended a uniform cut of promotional item funding across all organizations to $1,500, while cutting in other areas as well.

Treasurer Sarah Horwitz said, “As of now, these six budget funding proposals make up 70 percent of the entire [Student Activity Trust Funds] account, leaving less than 30 percent of the entire SATF account for 51 clubs and the class accounts.” The six organizations are Hilltop, WDJM, Student Union Activities Board (SUAB), Dance Team, The Gatepost and SGA.

SGA allocated $20,500 for the Hilltop budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, a budget cut of $1,960 from its original request of $22,460. The Hilltop budget will go towards its fall minor show, Upright Citizen Brigade and spring headliner show, among other productions.

SGA denied a funding of $1,860 for T-shirts for their spring headline show. In previous years, SGA had approved the organization’s request.

Student trustee Karl Bryan said, “I personally oppose T-shirts as advertising. So, I’d like to see them come back before the show starts for a new promotional item.”

Hilltop President Zachary Lambert said he is certain the organization will be coming back to SGA with a budget request for T-shirts for its spring headliner show.

Club Treasure Rachel Burgess said, “It’s been asked for in the past and we have received it in the past.” The organization argued that T-shirts for the spring headliner show is a consistency they are trying to create for their club.

SGA allocated $128,641 for the SUAB budget for FY ’18.

The SUAB budget will go toward events such as Bingo, Casino Night, entertainment, Homecoming and others.

The organization requested $54,428 for its “large performer.” SGA denied this funding request.

Senator Kyle Rosa stated, “My argument here is that … 4 percent of our campus is using over $50,000. …This is a ton of money.”

SUAB president Allison Carroll said, “I understand your concerns completely, but the large performer is really a tradition on this campus – building and fostering traditions are part of our mission statement.”

The organization originally requested $21,150 for its Sandbox event. SGA approved a budget of $26,150, an increase of $5,000 from their initial request, for this event.

Rosa said, “I don’t think we are getting a large performer and I think every state school has a huge event that happens and this is our big event.” He added Sandbox includes the entire student body and it’s a good use of money that benefits all students.

SGA allocated $13,910 for the WDJM budget for FY ’18, cutting $1,406 from its initial request of $15,316. The cuts came from the organization’s Fram Jam line item – a request of $6,729.

SGA allocated WDJM $5,529 for their Fram Jam event, cutting $1,000 for food and $200 for tables.

Senator Hailey Small suggested students swipe into the dining hall before attending the event to grab food.

Senator Carroll said, “I think if we are trying to be frugal and cut funding requests, I think food for this event would be a great place to cut, as the dining hall is open.”

Senator Steven Demeo said, “Getting food for this specific event will bring a lot more publicity to their club. … I think food goes a long way with getting people to come to your event.”

WDJM’s budget will go toward Fram Jam, Fall Festival, promotional items and more.

SGA allocated The Gatepost $45,412.50 for the organization’s budget for FY ’18. The organization asked for $46,772.50 – a budget cut of $1,360.

The Gatepost suggested SGA cut from its movie tickets and bottled water expenses, along with promotional items.

SGA denied The Gatepost $1,200 for postage, which in previous years had been allocated.

Alexandra Gomes, editor-in-chief, said The Gatepost sends the newspaper to alumni and the Board of Trustees every week.

She added, “Alumni have a lot of influence on this University not just through their donations, but they are CEOs of their own companies, they own their own businesses. … With the Board of Trustees, with us sending them our newspaper they might see something in it and say, ‘I want to fix this. I want to make a donation.’ … So, it really does benefit this University.”

Molly Fennessey said, “I’m not sure that I personally feel comfortable giving them to alumni.”

Katrina Ferguson said, “I think that the point of sending out the newspaper is to showcase student works, so it does benefit the students of Framingham State more than it benefits people who are not students. It’s not for them to receive, it’s for us to get our word out.”

Brittany Cormier, associate editor, said, “We would rather the water be taken away than anything else. We honestly didn’t plan for this in our budget. We were told we weren’t going to have it anyway, then they delivered a brand-new water machine.”

Gomes said, “We would like the water but if you are thinking of cutting something, please cut this instead of anything else.”

Cormier said, “We would rather funds go to something that benefits us and our community then a water fountain that we could step out to the hallway and use.”

Rosa said he wanted to allocate the full amount for the water.

He said, “I hate that you guys are just giving up and I feel like you lost your spark there.”

SGA cut $160 from The Gatepost’s water line item.

The Gatepost budget will go toward office supplies, memberships fees and printing, among other expenses.

The Dance Team was allocated $9,600 for its FY ’18 budget. The club requested $16,500. SGA cut the organization’s request by $8,250. The budget cut came from the Dance Team’s request of $8,200 for promotional items. SGA allocating $1,500 for this purpose. Cuts were made to the group’s fall and spring semester shows, as well.

The Dance Team’s budget will go toward the organization’s Fusion costumes, the Celtics games and promotional items, among others.

SGA allocated $43,821.50 for its general budget for FY ’18. The club originally requested $49,321.50, but cut $5,500.

The cut came from the following line items – promotional items, Week of Kindness and administrator’s forum catering by half. Promotional items decreased to $1,500, Week of Kindness decreased to $3,000 and the administrator’s forum catering decreased to $500.

SGA’s general budget will go toward the organizations Thomas Ames scholarship, SGA elections and operating expenses.

SGA allocated $4,000 for its training. Originally, the organization requested $6,200 and was cut by $2,200.

The cut came from their leadership weekend and other training programs and leadership activities.

SGA allocated $4,375 for its diversity budget. SGA had asked for $4,750. The organization cut $375 from its request of $500 for ASR, Family Fun Day and Involvement Fair.

SGA allocated $11,300 for its All University Banquet. The club had requested $12,100, but cut $800 by rescinding funding for centerpieces.

SGA requested and received $1,500 for its benevolence budget. This funding request will go toward six stipends of $250 for its 2017 Benevolence awards.

SGA approved $16,500 for their travel and conference budget. The funding will go towards ASGA and SUAB’s NACA conference, among other trips.

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