With a new semester, most SGA Cabinets have seen their budgets changed from last semester, and not all with changes hoped for.
The overall size of the proposed budget—presented to Joint Board on Wednesday, which then will be discussed and voted on in two weeks—increased by $1,533.62 from last semester to $191,300.29. The increase, however, was smaller than in previous years.
“Generally, spring is more expensive, student groups have their act together and they are ready to ask for funding and there are sports in the spring that do not exist in fall,” said SGA Treasurer Emily Wax ’09.
Last semester’s Concerts budget was $48,000, while this semester it has been cut by $4,000 to $44,000. Before the budget was announced, Concerts had allocated $38,500 for scheduled concerts prior to the semester and expected to have more funds remaining for equipment and other concerts.
“You can’t just adjust and move around things at the beginning of the semester,” said Peter Henry ’09, Concerts chair. “Its almost inoperable—we need some money to sit around to make sure our equipment works because it’s not a couple of little items [and] we still have contractual obligations.”
Despite the shift of funds in the budget, Wax said she believes that Concerts will not be adversely affected.
“People tend to get comfortable when they have unlimited funding or perceived to have unlimited funding and so stop finding ways to spend their money effectively,” Wax said. “Clearly you cannot renegotiate contracts but you can renegotiate that $11,000 that was in there for the speakers, for the payments of students, and hospitality, etc.”
The budget for Films increased by $2,500 to $29,500. According to SGA Films Coordinator Jeff Sinick ’09, for SGA to legally show films on campus they have to buy licenses, which in the past ranged from $300 to $600 per movie. The larger budget allocation is due to licensing fees going up last semester to an average of $500 to $750 per movie. “[The reason] my budget went up so much is because movies I thought were going to be $600 ended up being much, much more,” Sinick said.
Other budgets that have been affected include ACE and ACE Security. ACE asked for $30,000 on this semester’s budget, but was only allocated $27,000. “Spring semester there are other events that just end up costing more. There is Disco, Mary B. James, Block Party, and Waltz is more expensive” said Celeste Larkin ’11, ACE chair. “If I don’t get more funding, it’s just going to require stretching this money thin.”
Also, the budget for ACE Security increased from $6,500 to $8,000 due to the training of more employees and the availability of ACE for lounge parties.
The Community Service budget went up from $5,000 to $8,000. With the school cutting funds from community service because of the economy, SGA found enough budget to allocate more funds. “Community service is in line with the goals of our institution and of SGA. Community service groups have been unsupported for several years fiscally,” Wax said. “I felt at the least we could give them more monetary support.”
Nevertheless, with two weeks to go before SGA votes on the budget, some changes can be expected. “There are going to be some shifts in what we see,” said East Campus Senator Matt Imber ’11. “But the cuts are not that big and if need be there are ways they can adjust.”