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Officers approve future budget

Kathleen McDonnell | Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Council of Representatives (COR) approved a $481,243.06 budget Monday, up more than $100,000 from the $362,500 allocated last year.

The increase can be attributed to both projected Shirt profits and the higher $95 student activities fee that will go into effect next fall, Student Union treasurer Steve Friend said.

“Historically we have only projected $100,000 of revenue from The Shirt,” Friend said. “This year we decided to allocate as much as we could at the present time – giving us $30,000 extra to play with.”

Friend said the latest projection for Shirt revenues is around $150,000.

The student activities fee will also jump from $80 to $95 for the next academic year, a result of two Student Senate resolutions. Ultimately approved by the Board of Trustees in February, the increase will make the College Readership Program possible next fall.

Two-thirds of the money from the student activities fee increase, totaling $81,000, is assigned to the College Readership Program. But that distribution – which makes the College Readership Program the only group to receive 100 percent of its requested funds- left some student groups unsatisfied with their share.

The Club Coordination Council (CCC), which this spring countered the allocation plan that accompanies the increase, continued to voice opposition Monday.

“With the $15 increase, we heard that $10 would go to College Readership and $5 would go to everyone else,” said Kerry Kilbourn, CCC president. “But we’re not seeing the money.”

The CCC saw no increase in allocation this year, despite a request for nearly $1,500 in additional funding.

Friend justified the allocations for the College Readership Program, which will provide three national newspapers on campus daily next fall.

“The College Readership Program was a unique request this year,” Friend said. “Unlike any of the others, it required full allocation, and that’s why it was met.”

Another contested allocation was that of the Hall Presidents Council (HPC). The HPC requested funding that totaled over $800,000 – almost twice the overall Student Union budget. HPC received the highest proportion of its request besides the College Readership Program.

Friend said while HPC was only allocated $45,000 last year, the group was reallocated quite a bit more. This year’s $14,000 increase anticipates HPC will not need any more money at reallocation.

Though off-campus students will comprise a larger percentage of the student body next year, the allocation for the off-campus student organization has decreased. And Friend said the organization is not promised any more next fall.

“We don’t have a priority list for reallocation,” Friend said. “I can’t guarantee that if off-campus comes in that they’re going to get anything.”

While few organizations have been allocated as much as requested, groups should be reallocated a substantial amount later next fall as revenue estimates were modest, Friend said.

“Our goal was to allocate as much as we could, and we allocated every bit of it,” he said.