Thursday, May 6, 2021

2021-22 SA budget revealed

Adeeb Chowdhury

The Student Association budget for the 2021-22 academic year was presented during the meeting April 14, reflecting more optimistic albeit cautious expectations of what to expect next year.

“Coming up with this budget was actually difficult in some ways,” SA Treasurer Saugat Gautam said. “We’re still not sure what exactly to expect. We’ve been working on this since January.”

The budget was finalized following the SA’s decision to set its mandatory fee at $95 for the 2021-22 academic year. This was a controversial proposal that had initially been rejected, until a special meeting was held to reconsider and ultimately accept it. The current fee is $85, but given expectations of more activity on campus next semester, it will increase accordingly to $95. However, this amount is actually a decrease from the original fee. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was $105.

The amount allocated for Fall 2021 is $479,516, which is higher than last year’s budget.

It is markedly higher than the $427,864 allocated for Fall 2020. The total SA budget for 2021-22 is $986,310. It consists of the sum of predicted college enrollment fees, unallocated cash reserves or money remaining from this year, and additional revenue, such as ticket sales. The budget will be funding essential campus services such as the SA Shuttle, ACB activities, club activities and student tutoring.

Given that many clubs were not active this year. There is still uncertainty about what can be expected next semester. Therefore, all clubs were allocated a starting amount of $200, and if necessary, they can request more using the Additional Allocations system.

“We held a meeting March 26 to present the Fall 2021 budget to club presidents and treasurers,” Gautam said. “I think they were generally happy and satisfied with what we presented. The club leaders understand the position we’re all in due to the pandemic.”

Jade Estremera, the president of Fuerza: Black and Latinx Student Association, emphasized the responsibility of clubs to use the available funds wisely.

“We appreciate that things are moving in a better direction,” said Estremera. “Even though it’s not a lot of funds it’s still something that we are grateful for and continue to work hard for. As a team, we always make sure that the funds are used responsibly and appropriately. We expect to make the best out of it for next semester.”

Similarly, Criminal Justice Club president Samantha Alvarez noted the importance of using the Additional Allocations option made available to all clubs.

“The budget cut is definitely frustrating as I’m sure other Presidents may agree, but the SA treasurer mentioned that the funding available, a baseline $200, is not the only funding allotted,” said Alvarez. “Clubs and organizations can still request additional funding and allocations. This brings me hope that clubs and orgs will be able to run with the adequate funding they need if they simply request it. Of course, I’m hoping this works out for the best for all of us next semester.”

However, the club budget for Spring 2021 has not been finalized yet.

“Since we have no idea what next spring is going to be like, we thought it would be unwise to make official decisions about the budget for it right now,” Gautam said. “What matters is that the budget we presented [at the SA meeting] fortunately got approved. I think everyone is excited to see what the next year has in store.”


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