New Union has SGA dipping into savings for $100k

The Student Government Association is calling for extra money to be removed from its savings for the first time in at least three or four years, the organization’s treasurer said.

SGA Treasurer Jacob Barnes said the extra $100,000 called for in the 2008-2009 budget comes from a savings account in which SGA puts leftover funds every year.

Barnes said the account contains more than $200,000. The $100,000 is listed under residual spending in the budget.

Barnes said both the move to and festivities surrounding the opening of the new Brown-Lupton University Union led the Executive Cabinet to deem the spending necessary.

“All things under residual spending are one-time costs,” Barnes said. “It’s not a typical thing or something we want to do regularly.”

The extra money includes $75,000 devoted to bringing a popular musical artist to campus to help celebrate the opening of the new University Union.

SGA President Thomas Pressly said there’s no definite artist scheduled yet.

“It’s hard to have these kinds of things nailed down until you have a contract,” Pressly said. “We’re going to keep it close to our chests until we’re sure.”

SGA is also allotting $20,000 of residual spending for SGA office improvements in the new university union, including new computers, phones and furnishings, as well as the cost of setting up a new conference room that will be available to all student organizations.

SGA Vice President Brett Major said the conference room will be like a larger version of the Frog Pods in the Mary Couts Burnett Library, where groups will be able to work on presentations with a computer and large monitor.

The remaining $5,000 will go toward the Mountain West Conference Leadership Summit, which will hosted by TCU.

Pressly said that the conference will be used as an opportunity for student leaders within the Mountain West to share ideas.

“Most of the conferences we go to are speaker-centered,” Pressly said. “This is student-centered. We want to bring those topics and solutions from other campuses to all of the Mountain West schools.”

The extra spending brings the proposed 2008-2009 budget to a total of $435,000 compared to $325,000 for the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

SGA’s fiscal year begins June 1.

He said he estimates SGA to be slightly under budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, but exact numbers won’t be known until June.

The budget is set to be debated at the House of Student Representatives meeting next Tuesday.