April 6, 2015
On Dec. 8, The Scribe reported on the $63,000 surplus from the Student Activity Fee.
This year, there has been a massive revamp to the procedures and practices associated with these funds and their proper allocations.
Before, the leftover funds at the end of the school year were placed in a temporary “plant fund” for future use. The funds are now redirected back into the Student Activity Fund to be carried over into the next fiscal year.
Sabrina Weinholtz, assistant director for Student Life and Leadership and advisor to the Student Government Association, explained why the change was made.
“Several years ago, the SGA created a plant fund when they did a big renovation in this office,” Weinholtz explained. “At that point, they did have a plant fund that they created, and they would move all their excess money at the end of the fiscal year to that fund.”
“We got some guidance from upper administration that this probably wasn’t the most appropriate place for Student Government Association to be keeping their money because they don’t have a building.”
SGA funded groups are paid half of the funds allocated to them at the beginning of the year, and as money continues to trickle in throughout the fiscal year, the second half is paid out once enough has been collected to cover the remainder of the allocated funds, usually in March.
Weinholtz detailed the new procedures for dealing with the excess at the end of the year.
“Now, instead of whatever doesn’t get spent going into this [plant fund], it gets transferred back into the SAF account,” Weinholtz said. “Once everyone has spent what they are going to spend and the remainder has been transferred back to the SAF, that is what we would call our ‘Carry Forward’.”
Joseph Conrad, junior majoring in English for secondary education and a newly elected senator at large for SGA, said there are several changes in the works for the fund.
This could include an increase in the amount of money clubs can be allocated, from $3,000 to $5,000.
Conrad also said that better transparency is also a concern for the fund.
“I can’t say at the moment that I know of any big changes to transparency, but I know we are working on making the language more accessible to the students, as well as looking into ways that we can get this better explained at student leadership training.”