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Senate allocates $18.6 million in A&S fees for 2021-22 academic year

The Activities and Services (A&S) fee budget allocation was approved by the Senate Tuesday night, distributing a total of $18.6 million to the Tampa campus. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

A slightly decreased allocation of Activity and Service (A&S) fees for the next year was passed during a special Senate meeting Tuesday evening with little discussion or questioning from senators. 

The budget totaled $18.6 million for the Tampa campus, which was slightly less than last year’s $18.77 million. Student programs and services will be receiving the largest share of the money, which will comprise approximately 72.4% of the total budget, or $11.63 million. 

Student Government (SG) operations will receive $1.04 million and its programs $1.51 million while student organizations will receive $1.59 million. The remaining amount of the budget — $980,986 — will fall into interim and reserve accounts.

Student Body President Claire Mitchell presented the budget plans for all three campuses over Microsoft Teams at 6 p.m. The Senate passed the three A&S fee budgets for the 2021-22 fiscal year with a unanimous vote from Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee’s campuses. There was one “no” vote during the approval of the St. Pete campus budget. 

Sarasota-Manatee’s A&S funds will stand at $5.01 million for the next year, with all areas of its budget at an increase in funding except for direct funding to student organizations, which will decrease from $55,918 to $40,583. St. Pete was allocated $3.14 million for the upcoming year.

Funding for student program equipment at Campus Recreation and the Marshall Student Center (MSC) will remain the same as the last fiscal year, with $178,311 for Campus Recreation equipment and $79,500 for MSC equipment. 

However, both departments will receive funding increases for their operations along with the Center for Student Involvement, the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, New Student Connections, Office of Veteran Success, Student Accessibility Services, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and Student Publications. It will be a collective $1.05 million increase between all departments.

Departments such as Campus Recreation and OMA will have the biggest increase in funding compared to the previous fiscal year. Campus Recreation will be going from $3.48 million in funding from the previous fiscal year to $3.8 million for the upcoming year. OMA’s funding will increase from $400,035 to $937,318. 

While other departments are seeing thousands of dollars in funding increases, Student Accessibility Services will be given a $99 increase for next year’s budget. 

SG operations will see an increase of $185,382, moving it from $852,012 to $1.04 million. Each branch is receiving an increase, including a $109,138 one for the federal branch which had $0 allocated to it last year. 

Mitchell explained the increase in SG funding was due to the addition of the federal branch to SG after its consolidation.

“For Student Government, it was a larger jump in the allocation just because … we did add in the federal executive branch money for this fiscal year, which was not last year since we were not consolidated then,” said Mitchell. “So that is why there’s a bigger jump here within the Student Government budget.”

Student organizations and reserve accounts are two areas funded by A&S fees that are having their funding reduced from last year at the Tampa campus. Funding for student organizations will decrease by $228,917 while reserve accounts will decrease by $1.2 million.

“This [reserve accounts decrease] had a lot to do from the fluctuation and numbers that we got right into the end [when the Activity and Service Recommendation Committee (ASRC)] met last week. And even then there were some fluctuation numbers that took a huge chunk out of our unrestricted reserves,” said Mitchell. “But … we should be definitely good with the number we have here.”

The budget will pass once it is approved by all signatories, including Vice President of Student Success Paul Dosal and USF President Steven Currall.