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SGA allocates money to special projects

After the removal of Residence Council, Student Government Association is determining how best to use the excess funding.

As the 2011-2012 school year unfolds, SGA will be looking to allocate the $26,400 that was initially given to RC. Since the SGA budget doesn’t fund the new Residence Hall Association, the extra funds have been placed in special projects budget.

According to SGA President Alison Norris, the obvious difference between the budgets will be the elimination of RC and the roll over.

“We itemized out some things in the budget when I presented it to the council,” Norris said. “This year we have more roll over than last year and plan to work on a new special project.”

SGA Finance Director Nick McCutcheon explained that the $26,400 that was used to fund RC will be placed specifically in special projects, which are the general funds for the Student Senate, and will be allowed to help fund these specific areas that deal directly with the students.

“We are now able to place this money in areas which will help to fund organizations,” McCutcheon said. “Essentially all of this money went to the legislative branch, more specifically the special projects, which, in a nut shell, is the money the Senate uses to pass bills.”

McCutcheon believes the Senate will create new and better legislation with the extra funding.

Last week the Student Senate passed a bill to fund a new student lounge in Potter Hall. McCutcheon assumes that this money is coming from what would have been the RC funding for this year.

“This is a line item that has always been in the budget,” McCutcheon said. “But with the elimination of Residence Council it significantly increases it and has helped with the funding of this endeavor.”

In the Spring 2011 changes to the SGA Constitution, SGA is required to allocate 20 percent of their budget to Student Affairs. According to the provision, Student Affairs must use this money for student programming that benefits the entire student body.

“I would not say that it hasn’t,” McCutcheon said. “We just want to make sure that it always does.”

In the fiscal year 2011, Student Affairs only spent $20,625.14 out of $103,107.52 from the allocated 20 percent.
Thus far, a comprehensive plan for this year’s use of Student Affairs’ 20 percent has not been presented to Senate. According to the SGA constitution, the use of the previous year’s allocation must be presented at the last Senate meeting of the Spring semester. In the Fall, the vice president of student affairs (currently Esther Peralez) or her designee is required to present how that year’s money will be used.

“While the official budget has not been presented, there have been numerous conversations about what SGA wants from Student Affairs,” Peralez said.

Earlier versions of the SGA Constitution did not require that SGA allocate 20 percent of its budget to Student Affairs. While Student Affairs did not previously receive funding directly from SGA, many of its organizations—Center for Multicultural Education, Center of Student Engagement and Student Leadership Development—did receive funding from SGA.

As of Tuesday, the current SGA budget had not been posted online. Last year’s budget can be found on the SGA page on the Missouri Western website.

Norris said the updated budget should be online for the student body to view, and she will continue to work to get this released as soon as possible.

“The current operating budget was approved last spring,” McCutcheon said. “It should already be up, so I am surprised that it isn’t yet.”

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