Student Association hopeful about budget after increased enrollment

KaraCekuta_Issue15.jpgSETH MICHAEL MEYER

Assistant News Editor

 

As the Fall 2017 semester comes to a close, Student Association (SA) officials are hopeful about the budget for the next school year, citing that increased enrollment means an increased budget.

Junior computer science and mathematical science major Jason Cheung has been involved with SA since his freshman year at Fredonia, and he now serves as the student comptroller of SA. He explains that the Student Association gets its funding from the student activity fee, which Fredonia students pay along with the rest of their enrollment expenses.

Cheung estimated that the current price of the student activity fee is $112.50 which produces an operating budget of about $1.3 million. This money helps provide students with an enriching experience throughout their college career.

The money is distributed to the over 100 groups on campus. Each group’s level of recognition determines how much money they receive.

“Groups are eligible to request money. Endorsed groups: $150, provisional groups: $500.” Cheung continued, “Acknowledged: $1,000, chartered: $1,500.” The differences in levels of recognition are based on group sizes and how long they’ve been established.

“Constituted groups, (the highest level of recognition) they have to put up at least eight events [per year]. They serve as a majority and necessary services to the campus,” said Cheung.

As vital assets to the campus, constituted groups have a fixed budget that is negotiated during what is known as “Budget and Appropriations (B&A) Week.”

During B&A Week, each constituted group has the opportunity to propose their budget for the beginning of the next school year. After the Budget and Appropriations Committee finalizes the budget, constituted groups unsatisfied with the proposed budget can voice their concerns in front of the assembly of representatives before voting on the approval of the budget.

Last year only one group spoke out against the budget. S.T.E.P.S., Students Teaching Equals Positive Sexuality, cited a cut to their budget which would impede them from conducting some events such as inviting guest speakers. With much discussion with the assembly, the representatives from S.T.E.P.S. agreed to satisfaction and the budget was ratified for the 2017-18 school year.

Although some constituted groups may have reservations about the budget, SA tries to cater well to them as constituted groups cost about $352,000 as a collective.

The Student Association holds constituted groups in high regard when formulating the budget.

“The Leader, the T.V. station [and Fredonia Radio Systems] is the main campus media. We cannot have the campus without them. Sound Services — every single group needs it,” Cheung said. “FredAssist provides all these support services for STD testing and pregnancy testing . . . they even need to hire professional staff . . . to do all these [tests].

“The total amount we collect depends on how many students are currently enrolled,” Cheung said. With enrollment on a recent increase, SA may be able to collect a lot more.

In a September report from The Leader, Daniel Tramuta, associate vice president for enrollment services, said that the goal set for incoming students this year was exceeded by over 100 students and his goal for Fall 2018 is even higher.

With what looks to be high hopes in terms of student enrollment at Fredonia, the Student Association has the opportunity to collect more money to be allocated to clubs on campus and to lower the price of the Student Activity Fee.

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