New Student Activity Fee budget funds storage space for unrecognized student groups

On Sunday March 22, the GUSA Senate voted unanimously in support of the Student Activity Fee budget allocations to determine the financial fate of student groups on campus for the 2016 fiscal year. The budget also provides for the funding of an on-campus storage space for unrecognized student groups.

In the report released by GUSA Finance & Appropriations Committee (FinApp), the committee expects to collect $1,009,650 from the Student Activity Fee, marking an increase in $11,250 from the previous fiscal year.

According to GUSA Finance and Appropriations Committee Chair Robert Shepherd (MSB ’15), the most notable addition to this year’s budget are the allocations to the ABCS athletic trainer and the Center for Social Justice. “The ABCS trainer did not impact any of our allocations to groups’ programming budgets, even though it was a hefty expense,” he told Vox.

Sheperd said that many groups that have traditionally come to FinApp for funding, like Welcome Week and the class committees, did not submit budget applications this year. Other groups, however, including Georgetown Day and SURG, returned to the FinApp Committee for their annual funding.

The organization that gets the biggest cut of the budget is the Student Activities Commission (SAC), receiving 23.8% of the total, followed closely by CSJ Advisory Board for Student Organizations (CSJ-ABSO) with 18% and Advisory Board for Club Sports (ABCS) with 15%.

“Although we acknowledge that the [FinApp] Committee supports New Club Development, the year-to-year increase of SAC groups does put significant strains on funding,” SAC Liason Adam Shinbrot (COL ’18) wrote in the report. “Keeping this in mind, the Finance & Appropriations Committee’s FY15 allocation to SAC still falls over $100,000 short of their requested allocation.”

Shepherd also confirms that the implementation of the FY16 budget will not change unrecognized student groups’ access to funding. $600 of the Executive Budget, however, will be allocated towards a Regents storage space to be utilized and shared by various unrecognized student groups.

“H*yas for Choice is delighted that members of the GUSA senate fought to follow through on Trevor and Omika’s promise to fund the Regents Cage,” H*yas for Choice Presidnet Abbey Grace (SFS ’16) wrote in an email to Vox. “Members of HFC, like any other students, pay student activities fees. We are delighted that part of this fund will improve the operational capacity of all unrecognized student groups on campus.”

Requests for “major capital projects” such as renovations to the Leavey Center room and Village C Alumni Lounge, however, were not funded for 2016.

“In future budget summits, FinApp may choose to fund projects like these if it sees them as the best use of Student Activity Fee money,” Shepherd said. “At the end of the day, however, student activities will almost always take priority over capital improvement projects.”

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