At the beginning of every year, the president of SA proposes a budget under which the rest of SA will operate. The final numbers for SA’s income still are not in yet, and probably won’t be for another week or two, but president Haley Anderson has proposed a tentative budget. For the most part, it retains similar spending levels as there were last year. However, within the executive committee and cabinet portions of the budget a lot of the individual line-items had some variation.
As of right now, the expected income is exactly the same as it was last year. That figure includes $202,450 from the Provost, $400,000 total from activities fees for both semesters and $155,250 from rollover from last year. All of that combines to $757,000.
Of that, Anderson has proposed $101,934 for the Executive Committee, which is down only slightly from $105,784 last year. The decrease comes from relatively small cuts from improvements/planned rollover, compensation and capital expenditures.
However, a few programs within the Executive Committee part of the budget actually received increases in funding. Internal Development, an individual line-item which until last year was titled “Executive Committee,” had its budget raised from $1,000 to $2,500. The funding can be used for basically any internal programming such as leadership workshops or training sessions. Anderson changed the title of the line-item in order to “open it up to interpretation and move away from the exclusiveness of only Executive Officers using it.”
There is also an entirely new line-item for the Executive Committee. The Student Experience Council should receive $2,900. The new program is part of the campaign promise of the unified “Golden Ticket” that included all of the current elected SA executive officers. The program consists of a monthly lunch that Anderson says is designed to “create a platform for everyone to come together and discuss campus issues, suggest improvements for campus events and have open conversations about how we can enhance the culture of TU.” The funding will go to food and raffle prizes for students who attend. The first meeting will be September 19 at noon in the Great Hall in ACSU.
$5,000 has also been allocated to sexual assault prevention and awareness, which is a new line item for SA. It will go to the Advocacy Alliance for food for Bystander Intervention training and for a speaker in the spring semester. Student Orientation also received a budget increase of $1,000 over the previous $2,000.
Cabinet’s budget increased slightly. It’s now $336,000, compared to last year’s $333,350. Several different line-items received different levels of funding compared to last year, but most of them were relatively small. However, information services, which has since been renamed technological services, had its budget drop from $3,800 to $1,000. The reason for this is that SA had a new website designed last year, but now it only has to pay for maintenance.
There were also major structural changes involving Student Awareness and Multicultural Affairs. Anderson noted that “[t]here seemed to be a lot of confusion and awkward overlap between the two departments, so we decided to redefine the responsibilities of each of them, and create a new department in order to balance responsibilities and enhance our efficiency.” Student Awareness kept its name and was assigned to “oversee educational programming and foster meaningful dialogue between students on important issues and subjects on campus, in our communities, and our world,” according to Anderson. Its budget decreased $3,750 to $20,000.
In contrast to Student Awareness, Multicultural Affairs was eliminated and replaced with two separate departments: Multiculturalism and Inclusion and International Student Relations. Multiculturalism and Inclusion will focus on minority students and cultures generally, while International Student Relations, as the name suggests, is specific to international students. Multicultural Affairs received $13,250 last year, but each of the two successors will get $15,000 each.
One other new cabinet line-item is “Finance,” which has been given $500. Its purpose “is to monitor Cabinet department spending and to audit organizations when they request funding.” Anderson noted that the funding would probably not be needed but was put in place just in case something came up.
Executive Committee and Cabinet make up the largest portions of the executive portion of the budget. Student services, designated purchase orders and operating expenses are the remaining three executive portions and receive a combined $44,166. All three have identical levels of funding as they did last year. Student Services contains a few items which students might not have been aware of, for instance a lawyer who is for both SA and for any student who needs a half hour consultation. Student Services also covers the readership program that provides free newspapers across campus and free admission to the Philbrook Museum for any TU student.
The legislative branch also has money allocated to it, $276,676 to be specific. The vast majority of that, $270,000 to be precise, is for organization allocations. That figure is down slightly from the $272,176 from last year.