Student Government received more than $390,000 from Activity and Service fees last year, pulling in more funding than any other organization. While most student A&S fee distribution is based on the number of members in the organization and its proposed projects, Student Government business manager David Armstrong said larger clubs rarely go inactive because of low funding.
But the president of the Sailing Club, Jerry Bailey, said his organization is losing members because it has not received any money during this fiscal year from the past fiscal year. However, according to records of the A&S fee operating budget from 2001-02 posted on USF’s Web site, $1,233 was awarded to the organization.
“We haven’t received a dime. That’s certainly unknown to us,” Bailey said.
The Sailing Club has about 25 members, Bailey said, but only about six members participate. The group only has one boat that was donated to them from the university.
Armstrong said organizations with about 30 members are likely to receive less funding than those with up to 120 members, such as SG and the Black Student Union. However, Armstrong said there are some circumstances in which clubs with low membership are likely to receive more funds.
“Sports clubs are a little more expensive,” Armstrong said. “We look at the overall size of the budget.”
The A&S fee is a $7 flat fee that is added to tuition, and the Activity Service Recommendation Committee is responsible for allocating the money, Armstrong said.
The committee is made up of nine Student Government members, Armstrong said, who listen to proposals from organizations and decide whether the organization’s request for money will be spent properly.
“They look at the number of people in the organization and whether the overall request is pertinent,” Armstrong said.
Safe Team, which is an SG organization, was allocated $167,000 in A&S fees of which $140,000 was used on payroll.
Armstrong said representatives from SG organizations have to present their budget requests to the committee members, who review the requests the same way they would with any other organization.
“Every school has to do that,” Armstrong said. “As students, they have to act like adults and try to keep their personal feelings aside.”
This year, Armstrong said SG Senate had to reduce its budget from about $30,000 to a little more than $20,000.
The Safe Team has to make the best of its budget, as well, Armstrong said.
The organization has 13 golf carts to use throughout the week and about six are used each night to transport students to and from locations. Armstrong said some carts date back to 1997. So, a significant amount of money has to be spent on repairs, but before the organization can use money on repairs or purchases, Armstrong is required to approve the amount of spending.
Armstrong said students who work for Safe Team start off at $6 per hour.
“They don’t get paid a whole lot to be an effective Safe Team, picking up students from building to building,” Armstrong said.
But Bailey said the Sailing Club had to return used boats it purchased using SG funding from previous years because it can no longer repair them.
Armstrong said every organization is eligible to go through an appeals process after their budget is recommended by the committee to request more money before a final budget is established for the year. Armstrong said it is every organization’s right and responsibility to look at its budget before the committee votes to finalize it at the end of the spring semester, but no organization can request money in the middle of a semester.
“If an organization did not come in to look at their budget, it is too late at that point,” Armstrong said.