Inaccurate administration enrollment estimate leads to SGA over budgeting

Oct. 12, 2015

April Wefler
[email protected]

Anticipating a higher student enrollment, the Student Government Association over-budgeted for the fall semester.

The lower than anticipated enrollment affected how SGA allocates its club funds.

“Budgeting did not go the way we had anticipated,” said Erin Bolinger, student director of finance for SGA. “But we had enough funds to pull from and we made it work.”

Bolinger, junior communication major, said SGA budgeting is based on student enrollment, since SGA funding comes from the student activity fee. Administration told SGA to estimate a 2.8 percent increase in enrollment for this year, but it ended up being 1.5 percent.

“Therefore, the revenue coming in wasn’t as much as we had hoped for,” Bolinger said.

She said that up until this year, SGA wasn’t tracking its plant fund (excess funds).

“No one had any idea what was in that fund exactly and how much was left for each semester because whatever is in it just rolls over to the next fiscal year. So this year, we found a way of tracking that,” Bolinger said.

SGA created a new position, resource manager, who is in charge of excel spreadsheets used to track the amount in the plant fund and the different allocations to clubs and organizations.

“We’re using checkbooks and Mountain Lion Connect to make sure everyone is keeping track of their own budgets and balance and we’re paying closer attention to receipts this year and how everything is being spent to make sure we’re being fiscally responsible,” Bolinger said.

SGA committees and branches that spend their money give their receipts to Bolinger and Tiffany Yep, program assistant for Student Life and Leadership.

“We’re paying closer attention to see if people are actually using the money they budgeted for. If they’re not, we’re going to definitely make changes during budget season in the spring,” Bolinger said.

She said in the past, SGA would give budgets to The Scribe, UCCS Radio and Student Life and Leadership. They would then allocate for themselves and then to clubs. Because The Scribe and UCCS Radio have a large part of the SGA budget, clubs weren’t getting as much money as Bolinger thought they should.

This year, Bolinger changed the system so that funds are allocated to clubs and organizations first, then The Scribe, UCCS Radio, SLL and SGA.

“(Clubs would) get the end of the pile, which wasn’t fair. We’re supposed to advocate for the students and organizations and they deserve all the funds we can give them because this is their money. They pay into the student activity fee, therefore they should get that money back,” she said.

Clubs and organizations submit fund proposals to SGA for events, travel or other expenses and then the Budget Advisory Committee within SGA reviews the proposal. The club then comes before the BAC, who votes whether to approve it.

If the BAC approves the proposal, it moves to the SGA senate meeting for final approval. Clubs cannot ask for retroactive funding.