SGC-BBC challenges budget cuts with resolution

By Valentina Palm & Victor Jorges/PantherNOW Staff


On Monday, Feb. 4, the Student Government Council at the Biscayne Bay campus passed a resolution in an effort to avoid cuts to their budget allocations for the third year in a row.

With Student Government budget deliberations starting Tuesday, Feb. 12, the council is concerned about the negative impact it will have on metrics.

Metrics are progress indicators the University evaluates to ensure overall student and University success. GPA and 4-year graduation rates are two metrics that could be affected with the cuts, according to Jefferson Noel, SGC-BBC president.

The three percent budget cut SGC-BBC received last year hindered its ability to develop quality events for their student body and affected student involvement, according to Noel.

“The resolution lays out how it would affect BBC and the metrics because student involvement is intimately connected to academic achievement,” said Noel to Student Media.

Noel recognizes the limitations of the resolution, a document stating the official opinion of the members of SGC-BBC.

“Of course someone can look at it and throw it away but what you are throwing away is the voice of the students,” said Noel.

A study from the Journal of College Student Retention Research Theory and Practice – cited within the resolution – explains that students who attend five to 14 events during their  undergraduate career had significantly higher GPAs than those who did not.

Noel also said the main focus of their events is academic development and this reduction would directly affect 4-year graduation.

During budget deliberations, the Student Government from both campuses decide and negotiate the allocation of funds for the upcoming year. This year, the budget committee has proposed a deeper cut for BBC funding from 22.8 percent of budget funds to only 19.2 percent, the remaining 80.8 percent going to the Student Government Council at the Modesto Maidique Campus.

Ronan Kelly, SGC-BBC comptroller, told Student Media that campus student enrollment and credit hours would be the biggest factors in upcoming budget deliberations. He also explained that avoiding more cuts is important, but actual budget increases are needed to ensure SGC-BBC’s effectiveness.

“We need around 24.5 percent to be fully sustainable,” said Kelly.

Noel believes that budget cuts are imminent but is still hopeful the work SGC-BBC has done in the last year will be taken into consideration.

“I have hope that Student Affairs sees enough value at BBC and that they will support our efforts to avoid significant budget cuts,” said Noel.

In the case their budget is cut again, Noel explained that the SGC-BBC members would be the first to be affected. Their payments would be significantly reduced and there is a possibility of having senate and cabinet positions unpaid.

“We aren’t getting cut because it’s a rule, but because we value our student programing and services first,” said Noel.

Noel fears budget allocation reductions to SGC-BBC will become a trend that will affect their student body for following years.

“It just going to lead to a cycle of less exposure, less students getting involved, less students experiencing a robust student life at FIU,” said Noel.

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