Bulls Radio sees $52K added to budget

Despite having nearly $60,000 left to spend by June 30, the end of the fiscal year, Bulls Radio will receive an additional $52,000 to its budget to operate next academic year.

Bulls Radios budget was increased to $202,410 in Activity and Service (A&S) fee allocations for the 2012-13 fiscal year, in addition to about $13,000 from a USF Foundation account and $2,000 from an auxiliary account that will carry over to the next fiscal year.

Yet Station Manager Nick Gryniewicz, a senior majoring in mass communications, said there are detailed plans for the new allocations, something everyone felt was lacking in the previous years.

I think theres a lot of concern when everyone looks at the budget and sees, Wow, theres another $52,000 going into that place, and where is it going? he said. I can assure everyone that its going to where its been allocated or where its needed most to be turned around best to the students.

About $25,000 of the additional $52,000 allocated for the 2012-13 fiscal year will go toward the creation of five new positions in the Bulls Radio news department. The rest will go toward purchasing new equipment.

Casey DeFreitas, a junior majoring in mass communications and news coordinator for Bulls Radio, currently works with three unpaid interns. She said the news department hopes to expand with new equipment, a copy editor and three writing positions.

Right now, my interns and I are just using our own equipment, she said. I cant afford a $600, really nice camera. Same thing with my interns. Weve been using our own means. Were going to get recorders and cameras and two new computers so we can actually work in an office setting instead of bringing our own stuff or working from home.

Currently, the Bulls Radio office has five desktop computers and has posted 31 news reports on its website since February. Gryniewicz said the past two Bulls Radio station managers have attempted to create news departments, but they petered out by November of the fall semesters.

Equipment funding requested for the 2011-12 fiscal year included items such as speakers, two computers for the sports department and a portable stage. While not all specific line items were granted funding, the A&S Fee Recommendation Committee (ASRC) granted them a total of $8,900 in A&S funding for capital expenditures that has some flexibility, Gryniewicz said.

As of March 31, they had $4,360 left in capital reserves.

But this years equipment funding, Gryniewicz said, is for specific items that will enable them to create more access for students.

The new equipment is for a multitude of things, he said. Right now, we kind of have one set of equipment thats used for sports broadcasts, our onsite remote broadcasts and our music studio as well, he said. If we have two things going on at the same time, people start getting frustrated.

Because the music side of things has died down in the past year or so, he said the station also hopes to purchase the equipment for amateur musicians on campus to come in and put down and lay down a track for free.

While Gryniewicz said there is some flexibility on the equipment side of the budget, payroll is set.

Last academic year, the agency was given a flat sum of $50,000 to allocate among staffers at their own discretion. For the 2009-10 year they were given $46,995 and only had four paid positions. But this year, Bulls Radio was allocated $66,528.75 for 11 paid positions, some of which Gryniewicz said were split into new positions.

All positions are hired for a year. The station manager earns $11,685 a year, while directors earn $5,381.25 or $7,175 a year. The news coordinator earns $2,640 a year, and two remote disc jockeys, who provide free onsite music for student organizations events, earn a total of $3,680 each.

This year, the remote DJs, who charge non-student organizations for their services, raked in $100 as of January 2012 for theorganizations auxiliary fund. During the 2010-11 year, they brought in $1,120.

Bulls Radio had $107.40 left in its payroll account by the end of last academic year and, as of March 31, it had $45,924.75 remaining in its payroll account. In total, it has only spent $79,188.74 of their 2010-11 allocation of $150,354, mostly on payroll, a $35,000 contract with WMNF, repair and maintenance costs and other utility expenditures.

Gryniewicz said that while there are some dollars here and there that arent accounted for, that number would not be as high by the end of this year. If the money isnt used by June 30, it will be swept back into SGs unallocated funds.

Thats where I think a lot of people start to get really upset because, hypothetically speaking, if theres 10 grand sitting in our payroll at the end of the year, and I decide, Well, lets not spend it, then it gets swept into unallocated funds and then all of a sudden its not going to Bulls Radio where everyone paid their A&S funds to, its going to something else, he said. Were going to make sure this year, if we do have money in excess, we transfer it out most likely and spend it on improving the equipment we have in the studio or improving the offices, and I dont expect to have too much in excess. I want our students to have most up-to-date things.

Gryniewicz said he doesnt expect to see much money left at the end of the semester, because many people were hired onto staff late in the year.

I mean we werent on the air over the summer, he said. I mean, it was shut down a little bit. We probably had about five or six people on staff in the fall while the interview process went on. I refused to just pick someone and run with it. I wanted to find the right people.

Bulls Radio transferred $1,500 to its travel budget this year, which received no funding from last years ASRC, for Sports Director Nick Flammia to travel to New York City to cover the mens basketball Big East Tournament and attend a job fair.

ASRC Budget Chairman Jeff Gao, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said that while all purchases for student organizations and agencies must go through the SG Business Office, ASRC doesnt consider previous years spending when allocating new budgets.

Theres really no way of holding them accountable, per se, he said. Everyone has a thing called flexible spending. We give them an amount of money, and they can choose to spend it on whatever they choose as long as it follows all the rules. If they choose not to spend it, it gets swept back to us.

Yet Gryniewicz said money cannot be transferred out without at least 10 people seeing it, including student body President Matt Diaz and student body Vice President Zach Johnson.

Were going to come close to the budget money, but that always gives us an opportunity to transfer some out if wed like, he said. I dont plan to misuse any of the students funds or anything like that. There is some surplus, but that happens every year. I think youll see a lot of the organizations end up with a dollar here, or 10 bucks there.