Senate revises budget

In a meeting Tuesday with editors from The Eagle, members of Senate further clarified budget decisions that led to the Big Event budget veto.

Vice President Konery Klueber, junior of Rapid City, South Dakota; Vice President of Finance Lily Umeta, sophomore of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Student Trustee Dawson Brunswick, senior of McCook; and Student Activities Coordinator Megan Northrup broke down the numbers concerning budget allocations, cuts made and what this will mean for funding in the upcoming semester.

During this meeting, The Eagle requested documentation of Senate’s budget.

At around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, The Eagle received a modified version of documents presented to Senate during Monday night’s meeting when the Big Event budget was vetoed. 

This modified document reflected a balance of $946.31 after all allocations were made to include $10,000 for the requested Big Event budget, which differed from the $187.05 balance presented during this week’s Senate meeting. 

Upon finding this discrepancy, The Eagle staff then compared the AFB document provided to The Eagle with prior Eagle coverage of Senate allocations during the 2017-18 academic year. 

At 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, Eagle staff again met with Umeta and Northrup to discuss found inconsistencies. During this meeting, The Eagle requested the official AFB spreadsheets breaking down Senate’s budget. 

In response to earlier requests, Umeta sent The Eagle a revised document at around 1 p.m. Wednesday, showing a comparison of 2017-18 allocated funds versus AFB recommendations for 2018-19.

The Eagle staff met again with Umeta to clarify questions regarding the revised document at around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.

 Umeta, at this time, informed The Eagle staff that, between The Eagle’s Wednesday morning meeting with Umeta and Northrup and the meeting Wednesday evening, AFB had been working to update and correct the Senate budget which is shown on the right. This document is up to date as of Nov. 7.

At the beginning of each school year, student activity fees are collected for up to 12 credit hours. Budgets are created from estimates based on enrollment, but according to Northrup these numbers can fluctuate depending on factors like students adding and dropping classes, especially in the first month of school.

“I could look at it [the budget] one day and have something, and look at it the next day and have a different number,” Northrup said.

For the past two years, the senate budget has been negative. When Northrup came into her position as Student Activities Coordinator last November, the budget was in a $60,000 deficit; this year, the budget is still negative by $20,000, but senate’s goal is to stay away from going negative in the remainder of the school year.

$200,000 was the estimate Administration and Finance gave for the 2018-2019 year, and this is the budget AFB works with. $135,131.32 was given to CAB and allocated to clubs on campus, and deducting that from $200,000 leaves the Senate account with approximately ___ to allocate towards programs and events that aren’t covered under CAB clubs.

This is where events such as Spring Days, The Nearly Naked Mile and the Big Event come in. As of right now, Senate has $34,000 in unallocated funds, which is money up for grabs that would go toward these events. This year, the Spring Days budget is $10,000, $16,450 under last year’s budget of $26,450. The Nearly Naked Mile is also down by $5,300, making the current budget $3,000. Other Senate-funded events and expenses include Homecoming, graduation stoles, a senate Christmas dinner and leadership conferences like the one held last Saturday.

The veto of the Big Event budget comes after AFB re-evaluated their budget following the $10,000 approval last Monday. 

Senate will table The Big Event budget for another two weeks to allow time for CAB, Senate and The Big Event to discuss possible co-sponsorships and senators to talk to their constituents. When Senate does meet, they can either vote to retain the veto or can choose to re-allocate Big Event funding with a two-thirds majority vote. In this time, Northrup advises students to get in touch with their senators and voice their opinions on where student funds are allocated.

If students are unsure who their senator is, a directory is available in the Student Senate page at https://www.csc.edu/studentsenate/index.csc.

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