Campus Clubs Face Big Budget Cuts

By: Rebecca Reese, News Editor

According to the SGA Financial Controller Joseph Cioffi, the proposed Student Activities budget for next year was finalized after a meeting on Wednesday.

The total amount of Student Activity fee allocations is proposed to be $200,000 for the 2016-17 school year.

The amount of money in the budget has dropped significantly during the past two years. For the current school year, the budget totalled $245,000, and for the 2014-15 school year it was $270,000.

That means that the budget has been cut by $70,000 since last year. The reduced amount of money in the budget will affect clubs all across campus.

Clubs presented their budget proposals well into the night on Monday, March 7.

Traditionally, clubs presented their budgets with Line A and Line B items. Line A is the minimum the club needs allocated to run. Line B items are additional costs from which the club could benefit. This year, clubs were only approved on Line A items, and even those Line A budgets that were approved received less than they asked for.

The reason for the reduced budget was not clear to even the people who were in charge of deciding on the budgets.

Class of 2017 Representative Cassie Helmar says that at first, they didn’t even know what the budget for next year was.

“We had to play it by ear and just keep cutting budgets till we met the magic number,” Helmar said. “After the first round we found out that we had only cut $300, and we needed to cut much more… around $9,000 more.”

After that, Helmar says, they knew they had to make hard cuts from every club’s budget.

Despite the circumstances, “we all worked well together and we knew we needed to get work done,” Helmar said. “So the second round was the big cuts and the third round was just cutting down smaller dollar amounts to get where we needed.”

The downward trend is apparent when going through the budget data from previous years, this year, and next year.

The same trends applied to the Hockey Club’s budget as the overall budget. It goes from $30,000 to $26,000 to $21,000. The $9,000 disappeared specifically from travel funds. The travel budget for hockey went from $10,000 to $6,000 to $1,000.

The Rugby Club follows a different trend, but ultimately finds itself in the same position. The numbers go from $5,100 to $5,620 to $4,385; an overall 14% decrease.

Dom Amato, the Class of 2016 representative, was also a part of the process.

He said, “the clubs requested an extensive amount of money… and with the number we had to work with, it was impossible to reach the budgets that were requested.”

President Joseph Bertolino has not yet approved the budget.

Back in 2014, the Student Activity Allocations were divided 50/50 between the Student Government Association and the Campus Activities Board. This year the budget was split 45/45 between the two and the remaining 10% goes to Student Activities. The budget will be divided the same way for next year.

This year’s 10% Student Activities fund was spent on a panini press in the Hornet’s Nest, a hot dog roller in the dining hall, and the charging station in the Student Center.

One student who requested to remain anonymous because of their ties to the college, disagrees with the way the money is being spent. The student said how the 10% was intended for funding student activities that SGA was not funding and thinks that these purchases are unnecessary. Especially considering the shortfall in being able to meet club budgets.

The source added, “A lot of the clubs were really upset at SGA… if the 10% wasn’t taken out then more clubs could have received the money they need.”

The decrease in Student Activity budgets lead back to the bigger conversation of falling enrollment. This is because each student is required to pay a student activity fee and with less students, less money is being brought in.