Graphic by Jordan Bruce
Student Government Association (SGA) has received funding requests from all six university sponsored organizations (USOs), totalling $551,819.24. SGA will vote on how much money each organization will be awarded on April 24. The money that SGA uses to fund USOs comes from the student activity fund (SAF), which all Trinity students pay into each year. Because the size of next year’s SAF will be unknown until all students are registered, SGA will work with a preliminary estimate to determine their funding allocations.
“We try to estimate as best we can, the last couple of years the budget has been growing a lot,” said junior Kenneth Clouston, vice president of SGA. “The target freshman class is always 640 people. It’s been larger than that for the last couple of years, but we’re just assuming 640 people coming in as freshmen for sure. We’re assuming most people are going to stay that are sophomores, juniors, seniors. I’m assuming around $660,000 with the SAF. I’m hoping to get a better estimate in the weeks that follow.”
Before voting takes place at the weekly senate meeting on April 24, Clouston and other SGA members will meet with the USOs to help decide how much money will be allocated to each organization.
“We’ll have a personal meeting to talk about this, get some obvious questions out of the way, getting as much information going into the senate proposal as we can,” Clouston said. “From there, [the USOs] will give a presentation and the senators will ask more questions to get a better picture of what’s needed and what’s not as needed. Then we’ll vote on which items we think need to be fully funded, which items might need a little bit more funding and which items could be dialed back a little bit.”
Clouston explained that the budget requests he has received are fairly similar to what is expected from each USO every year.
This year the Student Programming Board (SPB) is requesting a total of $173,942.92, which is approximately $20,000 less than the amount requested last year.
“Last year we requested additional funding in order to upgrade our events for the 150th Celebration,” wrote senior Magdalena Blancas, SPB’s accountant, in an email interview. “In regards to our ordinary events, we mainly readjusted our individual event and line item budgets. Last year we restructured our board and added new positions along with new events. As a result, this was our trial year and the changes made are due to reflect what we noticed we needed to change to improve our restructuring. We increased some line-items and decreased others to balance it out. Some events we increased our request for 2019–2020 include fall inspired programs, collaborations, partnerships with athletics and the Welcome Week Concert.”
The Trinity University Volunteer Action Committee (TUVAC) requested $22,250, which is a $400 increase from last year.
“This semester, we’ve started adding more events and, we’ve already gone over budget on transportation,” said Diego Carrisalez, logistics coordinator for TUVAC. “So next semester if we’re going to have the same number of events or increase the number of events, we’re going to need that for transportation. We’re also planning to increase the number of on-campus events we have and provide food for those events. Right now we have a pretty small budget for food, and we’re hoping to hopefully facilitate more events like that.”
Greek Council requested $31,875, which is what they were funded for 2018–2019. Their budget goes primarily to sending the 10 members of the council and one staff adviser to an annual conference in San Diego and to organizing GreekU, a retreat for leaders in Greek life organizations.
Student Ambassadors requested $24,775, which is a $5,647 decrease from last year’s request. According to junior Sophie Wikstrom, associate director of finance, the cut in the request is because the ambassadors will not be attending a conference that they usually attend, having decided that they have learned all that they need from the conference.
Trinity Diversity Connection requested $32,609.32, which is a $2,439.60 decrease from last year.
While Campus Publications and Recreational sports are not USOs, they will be requesting their annual budgets at this time. They are guaranteed a funding amount equal to their 5-year average. Recreational sports requested $199,800, about $5,000 less than last year. The budget goes towards facilitating club and intramural sports, Outdoor Recreation and Bell Center operations. This decrease is due to reduced Bell Center worker wages. The Trinitonian requested $56,650, a $10,000 increase from last year, and the Mirage requested $42,042, which is a $4,158 decrease from last year.