Student government changes budgeting process for fall

By Amy Ledig

Student government has overhauled the budgeting process for student organizations for the fall. Under the new guidelines student organizations will be designated as either budgeting or non-budgeting, which will determine how they go through the process.Organizations that elect to be non-budgeting will submit a list of their existing inventory, the organizational leadership contact information for next semester, and will then receive $100 in flexifunds, an increase from the $80 minimum organizations currently receive. They will still be able to make additional allocation requests as needs arise during the semester and be able to reserve space on campus. Budgeting organizations will submit a budget as they normally would.

“We’re trying to make the entire process easier for all involved,” Financial Affairs Committee Chair Alex James ’09 said. The change, will allow the committee to look at fewer budgets as well as allow groups that do not necessarily need to do a budget every year to bypass the process. “It’s just less stress for everybody.”

“It seems like a logical division,” MCSG Vice President Owen Truesdell ’11 said.

As happens every year, all organizations wishing to remain in existence must attend a budget advisory hearing, but this year it is particularly important as all organizations will be rechartered and receive their new designation. Sign up sheets are outside the MCSG office in the Campus Center and hearings are taking place until the April 19.

“Everyone must have one,” James said. Organizations that do not schedule and attend a hearing will no longer exist, he warned.

The original plan to determine budgeting status based on designating groups as either clubs or organizations was scrapped because it sent the wrong message; the labels budgeting or non-budgeting will now be used, Truesdell said.

“Every student org provides something to campus,” Truesdell said, adding that each was formed to meet a need.

James cautioned organizations that are submitting a budget to be as specific as possible when listing the items they will be purchasing or details of events they are planning. He said organizations should give legitimate prices and list as much information as they can. Examples he gave included listing cookies or tortilla chips as opposed to simply food, budgeting $3 for streamers rather than a catchall $70 for decorations, and having selected and made contact with a specific speaker for an event as opposed to budgeting for a yet-to-be-defined one.

“This is all about being very specific,” he said.