Missouri Western’s student government debated a proposed Student Success Act budget in their meeting on April 4.
The newest SSA proposal is the seventh to be created by the committee and would largely spend the estimated $520,000 of student fee money to help fund student services and help save Missouri Western money an estimated $195,560.
The SSA fee money would save MWSU money by going toward funding the student labor and operational costs associated with facilities like Esry Health Center, Center for Student Involvement, Center for Multicultural Engagement and the Center for Academic Support, along with several others, thus easing that financial burden of Missouri Western. However, the university would still be paying for the personal, fringe benefits and travel expenses associated with the facilities that would be receive money from this new proposal.
The proposal would also reduce the need for a SSA fee advisory committee to meet each year since the set amount of money given to each facility under this proposal would be used for multiple years. These figures would be revised every three to five years. Additionally, any excess money collected over the years would be set aside in a reserve account that would also be reallocated after several years.
SGA President-Elect Alec Guy, who sits on the SSA committee, said that the proposal reflected a compromise between student needs and administrative goals.
“There has to be some kind of compromise and that’s why I’m in favor of this,” Guy said, “because I think if we each dig our heels in and say we want to spend the money a certain way but then the administration doesn’t agree, then well, maybe nothing gets done and that money just sits there. I think that this is a good compromise and ultimately the students are going to be the benefactors.”
The benefits of the proposal outweigh the costs, Guy said, because the money that Missouri Western saves would go toward the Master Plan which would help improve buildings used by students. Additionally, the money SGA saves in not having to fund student services would be used to help fund student organizations.
Not everyone at the SGA meeting agreed with the proposal. In the discussion of the proposal, several senators expressed concerns about the budget.
Executive Vice President Brad Stanton was one of those who did not support the proposal.
“First off, I don’t I feel like it’s student’s job to save the administration $200,000 like what’s happening under SSA,” Stanton said. “This gives a raise to Student Affairs, but it gives a raise to Student Affairs on the backs of the students. This isn’t the university saying we support Student Affairs more; this is students have to spend more of their money to give Student Affairs departments more money and I don’t think that that’s fair.”
Overall, the proposal has not be approved yet by either the SSA committee or the SGA Senate, both of which need to approve of the allocation before ultimately being signed by university President Robert Vartabedian. After more discussion on the proposal, it may come to a vote in the near future.