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$8.5 million budget awaits approval

The Student Government senate is expected to pass the Activity and Services Fee Recommendation Committee (ASRC) 2005-06 budget proposal tonight. It outlines where the $8,552,000 of A&S fees students pay as part of their tuition will be allocated. Last year ASRC had $8,012,964 to distribute.

A&S funds go to seven main categories: Student Affairs ($5,228,460), Student Government ($1,787,411), the unallocated reserve ($783,559), student organizations ($334,479), interim funding ($265,000), the critical reserve ($106,000) and the College Councils ($47,091).

Each would receive more than last year except for the unallocated reserve and the critical reserve. The reserves are money kept for unforeseen expenses that may come up in the next year. The critical reserve, as the name implies, is more specifically kept for emergency situations.

“The critical reserve is money that we set aside in case we have a catastrophic incident,” said David Armstrong, the business manager for SG. “For instance, if the roof on the Marshall Center were to collapse.”

The unallocated reserve was left mostly untouched this year. When there are surplus reserve funds, they are transferred to the next year’s overall budget.

Over half of the A&S monies would go to Student Affairs, which encompasses the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, Campus Recreation, Homecoming 2006, the Campus Activities Board, the University Lecture Series, Student Disabilities Services and Veterans Services. Though they would be getting more money than last year, the Marshall Center, which would receive $2,944,829 of the SA allocation, still had some budget requests denied. While they were denied the $52,768 they requested for Games Room and Tampa Room renovations, there would be, in the course of the next year, $13,200 worth of new patio tables.

SG’s proposed allocation of $1.7 million does not include the budget for the executive branch, as it has not yet been formed. Its monies will come from interim funding that is dispersed throughout the year.

SG funding covers many programs including, but not limited to, the senate, the Student Resource Agency, SAFE Team, Computer Service and WBUL.

It will also include the brand new SG Marketing Department, which would receive $109,228 to cover SG’s advertising and the Bulls’ Eye newsletter that SG has recently started distributing through The Oracle.

Also in those funds is $10,000 for “SG television.” Originally, $20,000 was requested, but ASRC awarded half.

“We are in the process of making a proposal to senate,” said Brittany Link, the assistant director of outreach for the marketing department. “We are working with WUSF-TV to create our own TV channel.”

Link said that if things go well they would try to get the station set up over the summer and have it running smoothly by the fall.

Student organizations received $334,479, which is spread out over 128 different organizations. That is an 18 percent increase from the $281,838 the organizations were allocated last year. The Society of Automotive Engineers received the most money this year with $26,658.94. The Crew Club and the Hockey Club round out the over-$20,000 club with $26,001 and $24,761, respectively.

There are many factors that go into organization budgets, including size, age, how active a group is on campus, previous funding and how well a group represents USF, Armstrong said.

The College Councils would receive $47,091 divided among the councils of the College of Architecture, Business, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Visual and Performing Arts and the Graduate and Professional Council. It would normally cover the College of Arts and Sciences Council also, but it does not receive any money in this ASRC budget proposal. According to Armstrong, the budget application for the College of Arts and Sciences was incomplete and was withdrawn. It is expected to apply for interim funding.

The proposal was on first reading last week at senate and will most likely be voted on tonight.