By Isha Patel, Correspondent
Image Credit: Hunter Hourany for Horizons
The Student Government Association’s (SGA) first budget meeting of the semester took place on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. . Before the meeting, SGA served pizza and other snacks and drinks were available throughout the meeting.
The Budget Committee’s main goals are to set budgets for each line item on the SGA budget, evaluate each line item, and approve or deny grant requests from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) Recognized Student Organizations (RSO).
The committee includes students across campus, and all students are welcome to join the committee. SGA Treasurer Anna McLaughlin stated, “I have been promoting the Budget Committee heavily this semester and last to try to increase participation. The Budget Committee is literally an opportunity for the student population to have input on the SGA Budget.” There were approximately 30 students present at the meeting, including the SGA officers and Budget Committee members.
The budget meeting was led by McLaughlin, who explained the meeting’s agenda and reviewed the basic terminology required to understand the material presented. The committee evaluated the SGA Service Organizations, Auxiliaries, and line items and determined whether the proposed amount for each line item–estimated by looking at the previous semesters’ budget–should be lower, higher, or remain the same.
The following are notable budgets set at the meeting: an extra $5,000 was allocated to Horizons for the increase in wages and operational costs. $60,000, from a reallocation of the SGA fee in the start of the Fall 2022 semester, will go to the Student Campus Enhancement Fund (SCEF). Now, 20 percent of the SGA fee goes to BCA, 35 percent to SCEF, and 45 percent to SGA. $13,250 was allocated for Spirit Week, which is the week of April 3, 2023.
A new line item in the budget is the Student Treasury Board’s SGA Community Service Competition (CSC). The CSC is two months long, beginning on Feb. 1 and ending on March 31. RSOs in the same tier have the chance to win an extra subsidy worth $250 by competing to see which RSO can do the most community service in those two months. Contact Liv Ordonez–who represents the Student Treasury Board–for more information at [email@example.com].
This semester, RSO grant funding was allocated $65,000 along with other subsidies. In the next meeting, taking place on Feb. 14, tier 3 and 4 RSOs will propose their funding requests to the Budget Committee, who will vote for approval. The committee will then vote on the requests; the process will take a few days to be completed.
The SGA Council will vote to pass the budget for SGA itself at the next open meeting. “Provided it passes, that is the last step in the process,” said McLaughlin.