SG budget to benefit students

In addition to the 2010-11 Student Government (SG) Executive Branch budget passed in May, senators voted Tuesday to support additional funds, bulking the budget to $362,445.97 – $44,220.19 more than last year’s.

However, this year’s increase won’t go into executive branch members’ pockets. Instead it will be used to fund more student-oriented programs, said SG student body president Cesar Hernandez.

Compared to last year’s budget, Zach Johnson, chief financial officer for the executive branch, said payroll was cut by $5,000 and travel expenses were reduced by $2,500.

“This year we have a stronger vision for our programs, and that’s where the bulk of the increase is,” Johnson said.

Hernandez said these programs are meant to increase student involvement in SG-funded initiatives.

“One of the programs that we’re going to offer is a governor debate,” Hernandez said. “Through this program, we hope that students will have more of an opportunity to question their future state representative than they would have had without it.”

He said that along with this debate, SG will also offer a mayoral and senatorial debate.

“I believe that if you want to change things on a national level you need to first take consideration on a local level,” Hernandez said.

In addition to the funds allocated for the programs, $20,000 of the budget will be filtered into a department initiative fund for both the fall and spring semesters. From this fund, SG can help co-sponsor student organization initiatives.