Student organizations requested over $1.484 million at the annual Georgetown University Student Association Budget Summit Sunday.
The GUSA Finance and Appropriations Committee has about $960,000 to allocate this year, due to the increase of the Student Activities Fee to $150 per student. This increase was approved as part of the Student Activities Fee and Endowment Reform referendum in December 2010.
GUSA itself was the only organization that did not request more funding. The newly elected executive, Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13), requested $23,400. GUSA President Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) and Vice President Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) requested $28,000 last year.
Lecture Fund, which moved under the purview of the Student Activities Commission in 2005 for greater freedom over its operations, returned to GUSA for funding this year.
According to Lecture Fund Chair John Gwin (SFS ’12), the group is requesting funds from GUSA because of the stipulations SAC has imposed on its budget.
Each of the five student organization advisory boards requested more funding Sunday than last year. Despite the removal of the Lecture Fund, which comprised 17 percent of SAC’s budget in the fall semester, from their jurisdiction, the commission asked for over $205,000, an increase of $125,500 from last year’s request.
According to SAC Chair Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14), increased funding would accommodate newly formed student groups and expand the commission’s newly formed ad hoc account, which allows groups to propose events not originally included in their budgets during the semester.
“There [are] a lot of needs among clubs and organizations, and SAC’s budget reflects that,” GUSA’s Finance and Appropriations Committee Chair Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) said.
The Performing Arts Advisory Council requested $255,640 for a new air conditioner in the Poulton Hall Theater and other renovations, requests which were made last year but denied by GUSA.
Fin/App Committee members again questioned the legitimacy of allocating student activities fees for such purposes.
“We see that as responsibilities of facilities,” Malkerson said.
The Center for Social Justice Advisory Board for Student Organizations requested $204,987 to fund additional Alternative Spring Break trips due to a record number of applications this year. It also targeted $7,000 of its requested fund to make the Kino Border Immersion trip, which currently receives most of its funds from Campus Ministry, an institutionalized Alternative Spring Break Trip.
Director of Student Programs Erika Cohen-Derr Center represented the Center for Student Programs and requested $16,489 for the purpose of purchasing a golf cart to help CSP programs operate more efficiently. Cohen-Derr promised to look into cheaper vendors when Fin/App Committee member Yupang Chang (MBS ’15) questioned the high cost.
“We’ll try to fulfill the requests, but I don’t think anyone will get the entire amount they requested. The math just doesn’t work,” Malkerson said.
The Fin/App Committee will issue a draft budget Wednesday, which will then be open to comment by clubs and the public. The GUSA Senate will ratify the finalized budget after spring break.