SGA rejects Activity Board funding

The Student Government Association rejected a budget proposal for the first time in several years because of record-keeping discrepancies in the Activities Funding Board.Jace Thompson, student body president, said the budget was not passed because SGA wants to reduce funding to the Activities Funding Board.

“The reason we cut funding is not because we want to cut activities funding but because (we) didn’t have records of how organizations spent their money,” Thompson said.

Because the budget was submitted early, SGA said it determined the funding for the AFB was too large and decided to revise it. Otherwise, SGA would not have a budget to work with if it was rejected at the last minute, Thompson said.

The last date to submit a budget is April 10, but the budget was submitted March 27.

To pass the budget, the Programming Council and the House of Student Representatives’ Executive Board and Finance Committee all have to approve the budget with a majority vote. However, the Executive Board failed to pass the budget with a vote of 15-13 and one abstention.

Thompson said the AFB was created in 2005 to allow individual organizations to apply for funding.

Nate Arnold, student body treasurer, said the AFB was originally funded by a $25,000 surplus in the SGA fall 2005 budget. The AFB budget was increased in fall 2006 to $38,000 per semester, with a total of roughly $76,000 for a fiscal year, Arnold said.

Arnold said about $16,500 of the total $76,000 of the AFB budget would be given to Programming Council.

When an organization receives funding, it is obligated to turn in receipts of what was purchased with the provided funds. However, not all organizations returned their receipts to the AFB, Arnold said.

Alan Ruiz, a graduate student in the MBA program, disagrees with the redistribution of funds. Although the redistribution of funds makes some sense, Ruiz said, SGA is getting rid of a budget that has been structured in order to appropriate money to organizations.

As a member of the lacrosse team, Ruiz said he does not believe his organization should be allotted the same amount of funding as other organizations because the lacrosse team has higher operating costs because of the equipment.

It should especially receive more funding than other organizations because lacrosse games generate revenue, Ruiz said.

Brian Andrew, former SGA treasurer, said he believes funding should remain with the AFB because the smaller organizations deserve funding just as much as other organizations.

“I was not in favor of giving such a large amount of money to PC because it’s important to keep the smaller groups funded so they can be able to hold their events,” Andrew said.

Arnold said SGA wanted students to rely less on AFB.

“The idea now is to make organizations go to PC instead of having AFB be a sort of welfare,” Arnold said. “What I mean is that AFB will simply provide money and not help with anything else. With PC, organizations can get money as well as getting their name out to the rest of the student population.