SA Clubs Disgruntled Over Money Drought
With a greater portion of the Student Association budget going to its newly inaugurated concert and DJ nights, some clubs have been surprised at how tight money for other events has become. The SA Senate has been especially frugal in its allocations, and clubs are having trouble coming up with the money they need.
Every year the Senate is allocated funds to provide clubs with money in addition to what they were given in their original budgets. Clubs generally appear before the senate and request funds to cover unforeseen expenses and events. This year, however, several clubs have complained that it has been especially difficult to get money for established events, as well as emergency funding.
The UB Step Troupe, for example, was granted only $800 out of the $1,500 they requested to cover the costs associated with a national step troupe competition that they plan to host in Buffalo. The Senate informed Step Troupe members that they would simply have to find another way to come up with the remainder of the funds.
“We’ve been fairly lucky—but, obviously, we’re not getting all the money we asked for,” said Rachel Parrino, Vice President of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Association (LGBTA). She explained that clubs such as the LGBTA have a much easier time gaining funds from SA because they already have established events, but that her club still doesn’t get all the money it requests and is unable to do all the events it wants to. “They slash and burn half of what you request,” said Parrino.
Other student clubs had similar stories about Senate funding. “We only got a small amount of what we asked for,” explained Phil Stokes, the President of the Geology Club. According to Stokes, Student Association officials told him this past fall that the SA was “very low” on emergency funds, and that, overall, they had budgeted less money to the Senate this year compared to previous years. Stokes adds that his overall impression of the SA has been mostly positive and that he thinks the SA has been more helpful this year than in years past.
David Ingleman, President of UB’s Anthropology club claims that Academic Club Coordinator Bruce Sherman told him that the chances of obtaining additional funding from the senate was “extraordinarily unlikely” due to the small amount of money left in the senate budget. Sherman offered the Anthropology club the last $350 from the Academic Club Council budget to last them the rest of the year. “Because we didn’t get the money we needed, we had to cancel an academic trip,” complains Ingleman.
“Last year some people thought there was too much money given to the senate,” explains SA Club Liaison Ryan McGowan. “They thought the clubs got too much money.” According to McGowan, this led to a decision to reduce the additional funds available to clubs. He adds that the senate has been very “opinionated” about how it spends its money this year.
The online version of the Student Association budget shows that, as of February 26, the senate has spent $19,679.71 of the $22,600 reserve for emergency funding to clubs. In addition, the Student Association has spent all $30,000 of the unallocated reserve funds, which are kept to help fund SA projects that go over-budget.
SA Senate Chairperson Cheryl Rozario, President George Pape, Vice-President Jocelyn Tejeda, and Treasurer Anthony Burgio were all unavailable for comment.
However, Burgio told The Spectrum in November that the Senate allocation was reduced this year to accommodate the cost of developing SA Entertainment, which runs Fall Fest, Spring Fest, the Sphere concert series, and other events.