SGA unallocated funds go toward student initiatives

SGA announced the rest of spring 2020 unallocated funds will go toward student initiatives during its first virtual meeting March 31.

President Matty Bennet announced the remaining balance in unallocated funds is approximately $60,000. Any funds not used this year will roll back into reserves, according to Bennet. 

He said some ideas are to put a new blue light behind O’Connor Hall, add additional lighting on campus, donate to the Rams Resource Center, buy event supplies for clubs, potential prizes for clubs to use in their events, furniture for the student veteran center, new gym equipment, and more water bottle refill stations.

“What I’ve come up with is that I want to, on Ramlink, open up a poll where we invite all of the student leaders to pick their top three projects that they want to see completed so that way, we know what students want, and it will tell us where we should put the most of the resources,” said Bennet.

Bennet added involving the student leaders might help them during this time when they may feel “lost” or that they “don’t really have a purpose” with the University closed and their events canceled.

Some of the ideas come from the FY21 Capital Improvement list. This list contains all of the projects on campus that the Budget Planning Committee is looking to improve. 

The total of all the items on the list is $783,000 with only $300,000 to go toward those projects, according to Bennet.

SGA members were asked each individually to rank the items on this list for the Budget Planning Committee to see which ones they believe will be most beneficial for the student body.

Before the closing of the University, SGA had allocated funds to multiple clubs on campus whose events will no longer be taking place.

A motion passed to move those funds into reserves, and during the fall 2020 semester only, those clubs will be able to use that money toward events. 

“SILD will handle all of the money and event planning,” Bennet added.

He provided an update on the student reimbursements. 

“Everyone will be prorated reimbursements for housing, meal plans, and parking,” he said. “I had a conversation with Dr. Holloway last week, and the business office will be collecting final numbers for amounts and who’s getting those prorated reimbursements by April 3, with checks being issued between April 7 and April 16.”

Lorretta Holloway is the vice president for enrollment and student development.

“The one thing that I can urge you all to do – if you haven’t already done it – is to set up the electronic refund capabilities on your ebilling if you can,” Bennet said. “That will just ensure that you get your money quicker directly deposited into your bank account.”

If a direct deposit account is not set up, the University will mail the check to the address they have on file, according to Bennet.

Bennet said he spoke with the Alumni Association Board of Directors concerning how seniors will be missing out on a lot of their events that were supposed to happen this year. 

They said the alumni development team will be coming up with different programming ideas in the fall for seniors to take part in.

Danielle Shaw, outreach and events coordinator, said, “I’m not keeping track of the ‘U-Rock,’ but you all rock, and I’ll remind you that every week.”

In an email, Bennet said despite being online SGA’s work is “not done yet.” He said he was “thrilled” most of the SGA members were able to make it to the virtual meeting. 

“Despite not being able to fund events, SGA wants this money to continue to benefit the student body,” he added. “We are busy brainstorming ideas and will share them with students soon and ask for students’ help deciding what SGA funds.” 

Bennet said, “When we have a better idea of what will be funded and accomplished, we will release a statement!”

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