SG finalizes $9.3 million budget

The Student Government senate put its final stamp of approval Thursday night on the $9.3 million Activity and Service fee budget, which was first brought to the senate floor April 11.

Last year, SG had $8.5 million dollars to allocate.

A&S monies come from a flat $7.00 per-semester fee and an $8.08 per-credit-hour fee paid by students. The per-credit-hour fee was $7.89 last year, but rose 19 cents this past fall.

Student Affairs will receive the bulk of the A&S monies at $5.9 million. SG allocated itself with the second largest amount at $2.3 million. There will be $659,793 kept in unallocated reserves. More than 120 student organizations will share $385,108. Also, $41,240 is to be divided between seven College Councils.

The SA money breaks down into seven major categories: the Phyllis P. Marshall Center ($3,416,257), Campus Recreation ($1,333,978), Campus Activities Board ($464,809), Homecoming ($351,689), University Lecture Series ($271,699), Student Disability Service ($46,150) and Veteran Services ($20,255).

The monies allocated for the Marshall Center went up $471,428 from last year’s $2,944,829.

Part of the reason for the increase in funding for the Marshall Center is an expected drop in revenue with construction of the new Marshall Center beginning this summer, making the building less attractive. Due to the demolition of the Special Events Center and the SEC breezeway, the Marshall Center will also lose revenue from student organizations and other events that would otherwise pay for the rented space.

According to its funding request, the Marshall Center had $761,231 in revenue in the 2005/2006 year and expects to have $533,707 in revenue in the 2006/2007 year.

The Marshall Center also wants to add personnel, including a director and assistant director of Greek Life. There will also be personnel added to help with the growing popularity of Volunteer USF. The offices of both Greek Life and Volunteer USF are in the basement of the Marshall Center.

Campus Rec’s cut is $141,153 more than last year’s $1,192,825. Campus Rec requested a total of $2,068,536, including $300,000 to resurface the Andros Pool.

The funding was denied for the Andros Pool, which Campus Rec Director Eric Hunter told the Oracle in the past is close to being condemned by the Hillsborough County Health Inspector.

Campus Rec was also denied a $200,000 request for an expanded boathouse at Riverfront Park off Fletcher Avenue.

However, Campus Rec did receive funding to add additional employee positions.

SG administrative services, WBUL and the SG senate all saw substantial funding increases.

Administrative services will get $547,782, up from last year’s $395,519. According to SG Director of Business Services David Armstrong, the increase is to cover potential new personnel positions including a new graduate adviser for WBUL.

The senate will get $60,165, which is up from last year’s $44,093. According to senate President and student body President-elect Frank Harrison, the increase is to cover increases in paid hours for senate leadership. The senate also created new committees in the past year with paid chairs.

WBUL will be getting $124,527, which is up from last year’s $101,788. Armstrong said the funding increase for WBUL would cover new equipment and additional student positions at the station.

SG was allocated $265,000 in interim funds, which is the same amount as last year. Interim funds are used on special projects or ideas that come up during the course of the year. For example, the concert organized by the Greek Week Committee this spring was funded with approximately $24,500 from interim funds.

The budget for SG’s executive branch will also come out of interim funds, since the student body president is elected in the spring and has not yet taken office.

The $385,108 being split between 123 student organizations puts the average dollar figure given to organizations at $3,130.

The Society of Automotive Engineers took the top amount home with $34,276.

The IceBulls Hockey Club ($31,100), the Crew Club ($30,164), the Caribbean Cultural Exchange ($17,406) and the Students of India ($17,031) round out the top five highest-allotted student organizations.

The Reflections Modeling Troupe was at the opposite end of the spectrum with $196, the lowest allocation to any organization.

The budget is put together by the A&S Recommendation Committee (ASRC). ASRC is made up of seven SG senators, one representative from the executive branch, one student representative from the SG business office and two non-student advisers from the SG business office. ASRC starts compiling the budget in the fall and releases it at the end of the spring semester.