By James Wells, Student Government Association President
Last semester a student voiced some concerns with the budget of the Student Government Association (SGA). I responded with a promise to reveal Student Government's budget, not only to show our support of transparency with respect to the entire University budget, but to advertise how much of a resource the SGA can be. I apologize that this budget breakdown has taken so long, but our budget manager has been on a leave of absence.
Let this budget not be confused with the contingency. For those that do not know, SGA is allocated control of two different funds. One is our operating budget, and the other is the contingency. The latter of which has never been private knowledge and is entirely appropriated to student clubs and organizations. The amount of money the SGA is given control of is decided upon by the University.
The operating costs should also be addressed. The two largest costs are the Computer Leasing Program and the Copy Machine Program. The Computer Leasing Program allows clubs and organizations with office space to receive new computers every four years on a rotating basis. The Copy Machine Program allows for the SGA office to receive a new copier every four years as well. It's a shear indication that this University needs to work on being less dependent on paper.
Further explanation of this breakdown may be needed. First, we never use this budget entirely, and remaining funds are returned to us the following year. Second, let's look at the largest numbers. Anyone can see that the Public Relations, Spirit, and Fundraising Committees are allocated thousands of dollars.
The Public Relations Committee holds the task of handling all of our advertising, which can be quite expensive. Spirit helps to fund many important events, including helping with the CAA Tournament trip every year so that students can support the Pride and Hofstra Athletics during the CAA Tournament. Fundraising requires $1500 because to make money one must generally spend money.
Next we can take a look at the Presidential Account, used to cover the expenses of events the President wants to hold for the student body. A perfect example is an upcoming anti-hate event: Support the H.A.B.I.T. Be on the look out for this event at the end of this semester.
Lastly, the co-sponsorship line absorbs the rest of our budget. That line is used to fund events organized by other student clubs and organizations. We have already helped to co-sponsor events with Tau Epsilon Phi, Phi Epsilon, The Pride Network, Center for Civic Engagement, and Hepcatz Swing. Any club or organization is more than welcome to request a co-sponsorship, and a request form can be found on the Portal under the Student tab.
I am well aware that people will always have disagreements with the way money is spent, but it should be the goal of any organization to satisfy as many people as possible. However, SGA is a representative democracy and everyone has the right for his or her voice to be heard. I suggest, for any student, that they contact us or attend a meeting to voice their concerns. Your ideas and thoughts are very important to me. The Senate meets every week at 6:00PM in the Student Center Greenhouse, and all are welcome.