Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GUSA Finalizes 2025 Budget, Cuts Club Funding for Five Advisory Boards

The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (FinApp) cut student funding for the 2025 fiscal year for five out of the 11 club advisory boards, including the Media Board, Lecture Fund and Georgetown Program Board (GPB).

The Media Board, which allocates funding to student media groups such as The Hoya and The Georgetown Voice, received $79,250 in GUSA funding for the 2024-25 academic year, a 6.76% cut from this year’s $85,000 budget and only 68% of its $116,966.64 request — the lowest request in four years. GPB, which holds accessible and affordable events for students on campus, received $139,750, a 7.51% cut from last year, while the Lecture Fund, which funds and hosts speaker events on campus, will face an 11.04% cut from last year to bring its budget to $77,000. 

At its March 17 meeting, the Senate released a preliminary budget and report, with FinApp members citing concerns with wasteful spending and overpriced contracts by the Media Board, Lecture Fund and GPB as the rationale for cutting funding. After hearing appeals from club leaders March 23, FinApp increased the Media Board’s allocation by $9,250 while cutting $8,250 from GPB and $3,000 from the Lecture Fund. 

The full GUSA Senate confirmed the proposed budget in a unanimous vote at its March 24 meeting. 

Kassidy Angelo/The Hoya | The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (FinApp) cut student funding for the 2025 fiscal year for five out of the 11 club advisory boards, including the Media Board, Lecture Fund and Georgetown Program Board (GPB), after citing concerns with wasteful spending and overpriced contracts.

Senator Rhea Iyer (CAS ’26), chair of FinApp, said FinApp thoroughly deliberated on how to allocate the budget, cutting budgets only when necessary.

“We were very methodical when we did cut,” Iyer said at the March 27 press conference. “It wasn’t just arbitrary numbers. We really do consider the impact of every dollar and each of the cuts were thought through.”

The 11 club advisory boards collectively requested approximately $1.496 million for the upcoming fiscal year, in excess of the roughly $1.275 million in funding that the university collects through the Student Activity Fee, a charge of $92.50 from all students each semester

FinApp initially allocated the Media Board $70,000, down 17.65% from the $85,000 allocated last year and well below the board’s initial request of $116,966.64. After organizations within the Media Board appealed the budget, FinApp increased its allocation to the board by 10.89% to $79,250

Mason Leath (SFS ’24), who serves as the Media Board chair and a GUSA senator, said the board was satisfied that GUSA increased the final allocation to fulfill most of clubs’ needs. 

“I think everyone is really happy that we were able to get the allocation increased by around $10,000 this year,” Leath wrote to The Hoya. 

Full disclosure: Mason Leath (SFS ’24) served as Senior Guide Editor during the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters.

Leath added that he was not surprised that FinApp had cut the Media Board’s budget, saying that the committee seeks to do so annually.

“Media organizations are required to report on GUSA’s activities, so they are often targeted by the body when it comes to their funding,” Leath wrote. “Media organizations must report on the body, which ultimately funds them, so there is a storied legacy of tension there.”

Iyer said the committee increased funding to the Media Board to avoid cuts to smaller media clubs, adding that the committee hopes to work with the board to meet more of its requested allocation in the future. 

“We decided that we can allocate them a little bit more money just to help with some of the smaller clubs that are under the Media Board,” Iyer said at the March 24 meeting. “And then we’re hoping to move forward toward a partnership between FinApp and the Media Board going forward to ensure that we can meet their allocation more as we go forward.”

In the initial allocation, senators expressed concerns over the Media Board’s paper waste.

Senator George LeMieux (CAS ’25), the FinApp liaison to the Media Board, said the foremost issue came from what he deemed as excess printing by The Hoya.

“Most students can see with the naked eye that there are too many papers and not enough people reading them,” LeMieux wrote to The Hoya. 

LeMieux said that FinApp cut the Media Board’s allocation with the intent to reduce paper waste rather than curtail campus media.

“I hope it is not above The Hoya or any other organization within the Media Board to see that this cut was not to cut the media board for political reasons or to suppress freedom of speech and of the press,” LeMieux wrote. 

FinApp Vice Chair Senator Daniel Hermonstine (SFS ’26) said FinApp decided to raise the Media Board’s allocation after members of the media organizations presented more information on their operations and responded to FinApp’s concerns.

“It was really easy for us to adjust our numbers and fund the Media Board in good faith because, again, we’re never in the business of cutting the Media Board for the sake of cutting the board,” Hermonstine said at the March 27 press conference. “In the appeals process, more information was provided, so more funding was given.”

Iyer said the committee also reduced funding for GPB and the Lecture Fund after the appeals process because the boards had spent some of their designated funds on organizing a retreat for the leadership and co-sponsored events that the Student Activities Commission (SAC) had already funded.

“We had concerns about co-sponsorships, where they co-sponsor events and they provide funding, but SAC is also providing funding, so we just don’t want to have a situation where two different advisory boards are funding the same thing when it’s something that’s originating in SAC,” Iyer said at the March 24 meeting. 

In addition to the cuts to the Media Board, GPB and Lecture Fund, FinApp also cut from Outdoor Education, which organizes outdoor activities, including hiking for the university community, because it receives additional funding from the university for coordinating programming. 

FinApp increased the budgets for the Transfer Council, which supports transfer students, Georgetown Opportunities for Leadership Development (GOLD), which runs pre-orientation and first-year leadership programs and SAC, which oversees a majority of student clubs.

The Performing Arts Advisory Council (PAAC), which governs music, theater and dance organizations, the Advisory Board for Club Sports (ABCS), which oversees club sport teams on campus and the Campus Ministry Student Forum (CMSF), which serves religiously affiliated organizations, also saw increased budgets. 

The Center for Social Justice Advisory Board for Student Organizations (CSJ-ABSO), which coordinates social justice and community service at Georgetown, was the only board to receive their full financial request of $86,000.

Hermonstine said the final allocations reflected the roles of the boards on campus and their efforts to improve their finances.

“When you have SAC, who up in itself holds 42% of the clubs on Georgetown University campus, you have PAAC, who has shown good behavior for the last half decade and deserve to be rewarded for that, and you have CSJ, who has shown great behavior, and ABCS, who has 18 different sports teams who have to pay for themselves to go to regionals and nationals this past season alone, the need was just greater elsewhere,” Hermonstine said.

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