The Plattsburgh State Student Association held its 12th session of the semester on May 2 in the Cardinal Lounge of the Angell College Center. At Wednesday’s meeting, both the senate and executive council voted on recommendations for the 2018-2019 academic year budget made by the finance board. The upcoming fall semester will have a budget of $693,775, and the spring budget will have of $540,278.
Finance Board Vice President Shiyiheeim Nartey-Tokoli watched from the gallery as the executive council passed his budget proposal, with the senators following suit shortly after. Nartey-Tokoli’s proposal to raise the mandatory SA fee included in students’ tuitions from $97 to $110 failed when first presented to the senate.
“I’m feeling happy and hopeful as well,” Nartey-Tokoli said. “ I feel that everyone will see the good in the increase of the SA fee – the good that I saw when I first proposed it.”
Nartey-Tokoli created the new 2018-2019 academic year budget along with the other members of the Finance Board: Malika James-Vassell, Omar Diallo, Tim Miller, Rainbow Cunningham, Mahamadou Toure and Vice President of Student Affairs Bryan Hartman as their adviser.
Nartey-Tokoli’s reasoning behind the increase was to give clubs under the SA a better chance financially.
“I knew that most clubs could not survive another budget cut,” Nartey-Tokoli said. “ I knew if we had another deficit, some clubs would not survive, so my thoughts were, ‘How could we make sure all clubs have space to grow and benefit the campus in their own ways?’”
Hartman guided the finance board in the process of developing the new budget.
“We have a wonderful relationship,” Hartman said. “They managed their money pretty independently. He [Nartey-Tokoli] intimately gets to know the budget.”
Hartman said Nartey-Tokoli looked into past budgets in order to see if there were organizations on campus that had money left over.
“One of the things he did, which I think is a huge benefit to the SA, was increasing the additional allocations and increasing travel funds,” Hartman said. “Travel funds we ran out of this semester because they’re pretty popular.”
Travel funds, which is money set aside for organizations host off-campus trips, will increase from $23,000 a semester to $30,000 a semester in the 2018-2019 academic year budget.
“Accomplishing that is really significant for the SA, and he should be commended.” Hartman said.
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