University Wide Council distributes additional A&S funds

By Melhor Leonor/Assistant News Director 

After an increase of 3.5 percent in the Activity & Service Fee, the U-Wide Council reconvened on March 8 to allocate additional funds to several campus organizations.

The council deliberated on an additional amount of about $1.5 million. This deliberation would adhere to the original allocations seen by the council on Feb. 15 and 18, where $10,760,955 were allocated to around 30 University wide organizations and facilities.

“It’s all going very smoothly,” said Patrick O’Keefe, Student Government Council president at the Modesto Maidique Campus, during the deliberations. O’Keefe was originally against the A&S fee increase.

The most contentious debate was over providing additional funds to Homecoming, with a motion by Patrick O’Keefe to fund it an additional $200,000. “Now that we have the increase, let’s look at this as securing our investments,” Udhnani said. “This is something that directly impacts students one way or the next.”

Emilio Collyer, SGC-BBC vice president, argued that if more than $87,500 were added to Homecoming, BBC organizations and activities “[would] not have enough money to cover their expenses.”

“As vice president of BBC, I have to keep in mind the needs of the Biscayne Bay Campus,” said Collyer.

Ultimately, the council voted to allocate an additional $150,000 through a motion by O’Keefe, funding Homecoming at a total of $550,000.

The additional funds were parted to several of the organizations, many of which had received less than their requested amounts. The Wolfe University Center and University Wide Leadership were all fully funded to their requests during the first budget deliberations. Among the smaller additional allocations were the $1,000 that went to the Honors College, which had previously received $8,000 of their requested $43,995.

Debate arose over the college’s funds, as many in the council agreed that not all students who pay the A&S fee can take part in the events and activities of the Honors College.

“I know we’re trying to move away from funding any colleges, but we shouldn’t cripple the program all at once in one year,” said Senate Speaker Donovan Dawson.

Denise Halpin, Student Government Council president at the Biscayne Bay Campus, added that the SGA finance committee has funds to allocate toward Honors College conferences.

“[The Honors College] is an academic center that shouldn’t be confused as being part of activities and services,” said Halpin, who mentioned that she would be meeting the University provost of academic affairs to see where the college can get other sources of funding.

The Black Student Union was allocated an additional $9,000 with a motion by Sanjeev Udhnani, SGC-MMC vice president, who praised the success the organization has had in having well attended events and bringing students to the BBC.

“They’ve produced a high caliber level of programming and have great turnouts,” said Udhnani. “A lot of students rely on them.” and The Beacon also received an additional $5,600 and $3,545 respectively.

The New York Times Readership Program did not receive any funding during this deliberation or the previous of their total requested $33,860. It remained the only program to receive zero funding from the U-wide council.

Additional money was given to the Center for Leadership and Service and Multicultural Programs and Services, for coordinator and director positions.

After concluding U-wide deliberations, the council for MMC campus specific deliberations met to allocate the funds to the MMC specific organizations.

With $96,555 left of campus specific budget, the committee voted to kick the amount back to the University Wide Council, which will reconvene once more for further deliberation of these funds.

Furthermore, amounts allocated to the various organizations are preliminary amounts and will be reviewed pending approval by the SGA Senate at both campuses, the Vice President of Student Affairs Rosa Jones and University President Mark Rosenberg.

Be the first to comment on "University Wide Council distributes additional A&S funds"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.