ONLINE ARTICLE BY BETH LEVALLEY
Drake Student Senate took to the library fishbowl Thursday night to discuss cutting funding for organizations on campus.
The initial budget for annually funded organizations included $336,191.88 dispersed among 38 annually funded organizations for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Student Senate will finalize this budget in two weeks.
The Student Fees Allocation Committee (SFAC) cut $122,910.35 from the initial requested funds in order to align with its budget.
This committee decides on these cuts based on the Student Senate bylaws. After cuts based on the bylaws are made, the committee decides what cuts would be most equitable and consistent across all organizations.
This year, SFAC decided to remove all money allocated toward movie rights from organizations’ budgets because Free Movie Friday already has money toward movie rights in its budget. SFAC hopes that organizations will collaborate with Free Movie Friday rather than obtaining specific movie rights.
Organizations’ retreats and food for all general meetings were also cut from each organization.
In general, one event from each organization was also cut to align with the budget.
The largest budget in a student organization, which is consistent with past years, is the Student Activities Board. A total of $163,122 was budgeted to this organization.
Only two organizations were approved for their entire requested budgets—Curling Club, which requested an $800 discounted rate to rent an ice rink, and PreMed Club, which will have three small events totaling $190.
Controversy ensued among senate members when two events from the Malaysian Student Association were cut because SFAC believed it could collaborate with a similar event that the Chinese Students and Scholars Association had a budget for.
“Given the small amount we cut from other organizations versus cutting two whole events for (the Malaysian Student Association) just doesn’t seem equitable to me, considering it is a separate event,” Senator Olivia O’Hea said. “I think it’s our role to tell how they’re funded; I don’t think it’s our role to tell them… when to collaborate.”
Sen. O’Hea also brought up an issue with the Rainbow Union’s budget because $300 for a private photographer and printing photos was cut from the budget.
“There was a fear that if a lot of students there had cell phones or were just taking photos, or if there wasn’t a professional photographer, information would get out that would ruin the confidentiality with this event,” Sen. O’Hea said. “For me, I’m comfortable cutting $300 from somewhere else to justify this.”
Both issues were discussed thoroughly, and the Student Fees Allocation Committee will be revisiting those issues to bring back to the table next week.