Fixing the Books: New SGA Budget Policies Proposed

By Leland Fiegel
Elm Web Master

The SGA budget process currently runs on a semester basis but may be switching to a yearly format if proposed changes make it through.

With the current system, clubs do not know for certain how much money they have from the budget until several weeks into the semester, causing an uneven spread of events near the end of the semester.

“When the clubs know how much money they receive, then they start solidifying their events,” said SGA Financial Controller senior Michael Drake.

According to Drake, other schools run their budgets like this, and it just “makes sense” to give clubs the entire summer to plan events when they already know how much money they’ve been allotted through the budgeting system from the previous year.

This proposed system does present some flaws. Drake is aware the of potential problem with clubs that are event-heavy in the spring, as they may not “be able to accurately predict their expenses an entire calendar year in advance.”

Washington College’s Relay For Life event, for example, takes place in late spring.

WC Relay For Life Co-chair junior Devin Reilly thinks that this new system is “not the best idea.” She suggests an alternative plan that would involve planning a semester in advance, as opposed to the entire year, so spring events would be planned in the previous fall, and fall events would be planned in the previous spring.

Drake acknowledges it’s a “valid complaint” and says he is “willing to work with those clubs” using already existing solutions like the discretionary fund.

The business office is working out logistics for the new system. Drake said that the plan is “not set in stone right now,” but “chances are pretty good it will happen.”

There will still be time for student leaders to bring up concerns at senate and the Council of Presidents meetings.

Director of Student Activities Emmanuel Lalande, who is spearheading the idea, said  that it will be a “tough transition [that will] pay off in the long run.”

“Students will be able to plan earlier, new [and prospective] students will see what’s happening on campus, student organizations will be able to represent themselves in the first week of school with a real festive ‘welcome back’ environment,” he said. “It just enhances student life.”

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