Annually, the Student Government Association allocates 20 percent of the budget to Student Affairs.
According to the SGA Bylaws and Policy Guide the money allocated to Student Affairs primarily funds the Center for Multicultural Education, the Center for Student Engagement, intramural programs and Student Leadership Programs. Judy Grimes, the interim vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, explained the importance of the SGA allocation.
“It’s pretty normal in higher education that direct student fees support Student Affairs,” Grimes said. “You’ll see it all over the country and especially in Missouri… the students in SGA wanted to provide in the constitution for a fixed allocation so that there would be some consistency in funding programming for students because it’s really focused on programming for students.”
SGA President Jacob Scott said that in years previous to the allocation to Student Affairs funding for the CSE, CME, and the Non-Traditional Student Center “were funded up to the discretion of the SGA president.”
Scott wants the student government to play a more active role in the disbursement of the allocation.
“Personally, I think that it should go back to the Student Government Association. We can fund the money out to the offices,” Scott said. “I think that we can create fixed allocations within Student Government and that’s something I’m pursuing as SGA president now is to get that money back into the Student Government’s hands.”
At the end of the fiscal year, remaining allocation funds are carried forward to the next year. Last year, Student Affairs had a rollover of $95,030.48, bringing Student Affair’s beginning balance to $180,776.95.
“We have to keep some rollover there, and we work with SGA to do that so in case say the [enrollment] numbers go down then we don’t collect as much money,” Grimes said.
While Grimes highlighted the importance of Student Affairs having a rollover, Scott would like to see the balance given back to the Student Government.
“I would like to see that roll back over to SGA. I think that we could do a lot of good things with that money and especially given the fact that Student Affairs already has their own operating budget.” Scott said, “I think we could use that money for a lot of good.”
Although the allocation is transferred from the SGA budget, the funds are collected from a student fee.
“What happens is you have a Student Government fee each semester… and then of that entire collection of fees it creates what is known as the SGA budget,” Scott said. “Then what was written into our constitution was that 20 percent of that budget would go to Student Affairs which usually equal about $90,000, but of course it kind of depends upon enrollment.”
To date, Student Affairs approximates the total costs at $122,004.75, not including spring budgets for the CSE and CME.