STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
Student Senate’s proposed 2015-2016 annual budget included a total of $336,382 to allocate to 29 student organizations, six of which are new on campus.
The Student Fees Allocation Committee (SFAC) was proud that they did not use any incremental budgeting, which is a gradual year-after-year increase in an organizations’ budget, said Treas. Kevin Maisto.
They instead looked at each group’s budget and analyzed every item to make sure funds were being put to good use.
In the annual budget presentation, Maisto stated that, “SFAC considered the Finance Priorities outlined in the Student Handbook to provide value to the student body.”
Maisto and SFAC said that they stayed as consistent as possible, which means the cuts made were similar throughout every organization.
Transportation fees were one of the most common cuts.
The Senate cannot fund for transportation, but organizations were encouraged to apply for one-time funding requests if they get desperate.
The Senate also cut funding for speaking fees, attempting to keep the speakers’ budget the same for every event.
SFAC enforced a new policy this year called the “snack rate.” If an organization puts on an event that requires food but not a full meal, such as cookies or brownies, there is a snack rate of
$2 per person. Many organizations used this snack rate in their budgets with events that lasted a few hours rather than an entire night.
The Student Activities Board had the largest budget at $165,400. The Student Senate had the second largest budget with $124,765.
“While it’s unfortunate that we have to allocate our own budget, we tried to be as fair and intentional as possible,” Maisto said.
Treas. Maisto spoke highly of student organizations and humbly of SFAC’s efforts to create the annual budget.
“One thing that helped us get through the 15 to 16 hours was just hearing students’ excitement about their organizations,” Maisto said.
The Senate table also offered electoral candidates time to explain their platform for the 2015-2016 year.
Although the Senate focused on the annual budget for most of the meeting, they also allocated one-time funding to the Drake Triathlon Club and Enactus.
The Drake Triathlon Club will send two participants to the U.S. Triathlon Collegiate Nationals in Clemson, South Carolina. The team hopes to receive spots in the top-50 out of about 400 triathletes.
The Senate allocated $901 to the Drake Triathlon Club for registration, transportation and lodging costs.
Enactus, an entrepreneurial organization on Drake’s campus, is hosting “Life After Drake,” an event that features notable alumni.
Ethan Turner spoke about collaboration with other campus organizations and assured Senate that this was not an effort of Enactus alone.
“I want to make sure you know that this is not just through Enactus,” Turner said. “It’s just a by-product of our organization.”
In the future, he hopes this becomes an annual event that coincides with the Drake Relays.
This year, the speakers will be Eric Zobrowski, a Drake alumnus who is famous for writing on the television series “American Dad,” as well as other ABC and NBC productions.
Most of the costs for this event have been covered, but the Senate allocated $346 for transportation costs associated with the event.
Senators are working consistently through the end of the year and following Vice President Josh Duden’s advice from last week: pacing themselves and staying organized.
Sen. Kerstin Donat was excited to announce that her efforts to incorporate international students into orientation and Welcome Weekend will start this summer, earlier than originally anticipated.
Sen. Zachary Blevins and Sen. Krysta Thomason are also collaborating to potentially get more outdoor seating, which could include picnic tables and hammocks.