Friday, February 29, 2008

Budget season begins, senate to decide

By Sean O’Brien
News Editor

The middle of the semester not only marks the time for warm weather to begin coming back, but it also means budget season for student senators and club presidents.

Every year clubs have to submit a budget to the student senate so they may allocate the next years’ funds appropriately. Club budgets range from $100 to $70,000, making this a heavy load for not only the club leaders but for senate and its finance committee as well. Club leaders are expected to budget the cost of any trips, events, or other club necessities for the next school year.

These budgets are then submitted to the student senate finance committee, headed by senior Rick McCoy, vice president for financial affairs. “The finance committee reviews all the budgets that are submitted and tries to make adjustments with the club leaders if they need help,” said McCoy. “It’s a lot of work doing a budget.”

After adjusting the budgets, the finance committee submits them to the student senate. The senate then deliberates over budgets from every club on campus, beginning with the smallest budget.

The budgets are arranged in ‘brackets,’ one through four. The bracketing system is set up so that clubs in specific budget ranges are allowed to make increases to their budgets from the previous year by a certain percentage. These percentages become smaller as the size of the club’s budget increases, thus capping the amount a budget can be increased. With the bracketing system, senate can predict how much money is going to be requested by and available for all clubs on campus.

The system also rewards clubs for fundraising, allowing them to increase their budget by five percent if they fundraise the equivalent of five percent of their previous year’s budget.

“This system makes everything more manageable for us, inspires clubs to more proactive in their fundraising efforts, and also makes sure that clubs know roughly how much money to expect for a budget increase,” said McCoy.

Students are encouraged to contact Rick McCoy at as soon as possible if they need help with their budget or need more information on the budget process.

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