In its last meeting of the year this past Tuesday, Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) passed the budget for the 2015-2016 academic year. After weeks of deliberation and reassessment of its contents, the passing of the budget took a mere ten minutes.
After the budget was tabled last week, the Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) reconvened to do a final calculation following last week’s appeals process. Jennie Kim ’15, the FAC Chair, opened up the budget discussion by giving the a rundown of the numbers.
“For the Operating Fund, [or] all the events and publications, so not [including] capital, there’s $165,975.48,” Kim said. “And there’s $11,514 in capital, which [makes] the total 2015-2016 school year budget for student orgs $177,489.48. So that’s what’s on the table right now. And in case you were curious, there will be about $39,577.52 left for operating for additional allocations.”
Discussion then moved to the minor budget adjustments.
Earlier in the meeting, prior to passing the budget, MCSG unchartered the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) organization and restructured it within the framework of the student government. As a student organization, the SAAC was at risk of being in violation of either the NCAA requirements for recognition of Macalester’s definition of what can constitute an organization. Because the SAAC’s organization status was reworked,, the budget it had been allotted by the FAC was no longer applicable. The LB then unanimously voted to strike the prior amount requested by the SAAC to zero, reducing the overall budget and increasing the additional allocations.
The only other modification to the budget was in regards to the budgets of orgs that had failed to complete an audit with the Student Organization Committee (SOC) chair, a triennial process required for all organizations. SOC Chair James Lindgren ’15, explained the consequences of this failure.
“[Audits] were announced in January. There were three reminders sent. In the last one it was stated very specifically that if you don’t complete the audit by this date, the following will happen,” Lindgren said. “And one of those was you will not be able to request a budget; you will not be able to reserve space. You basically become a frozen, inactive student organization until you reactivate yourself in the fall by meeting with my friend Suveer [Daswani ’18, SOC Chair Elect].”
Six organizations found themselves on the cutting board: the Trads, Mr. M, Zabumba, Art History Club, Macalester Association for Sub-Continental Ethnic and Cultural Awareness (MASECA) and Mac Unitarian Universalists.
While there was some concern as to whether the advisors of the organizations had been notified of the freezing of the accounts, MCSG President Rothin Datta ’16 reminded the LB that this process was required by MCSG’s bylaws.
“I can just say that if we don’t do this we’re in direct violation of our bylaws and can then be referred to the judicial council and that action can be overturned,” Datta said. “And I’ll do that if it doesn’t happen, so we should just pass this. It’s a fact.”
With this reminder the LB passed the motion to freeze the organizations’ accounts, once again reducing the budget and increasing the additional allocation amount.
Following the amendments to the budget, Kim announced the new total budget amount as $163,054.48. Though there were joking objections to passing the budget, the LB unanimously passed the 2015-2016 budget to a round of applause.