Executive-based organizations asked the Student Government for more money during the SG’s annual budget hearings, held March 31.
These hearings are one of many steps necessary for the SG to draft a budget plan for the 2007-2008 school year.
The SG budget totals over $500,000. Each student contributes $73.50 through his or her tuition. Allocations are given to each part of the SG, which is made up of class and school councils as well as executive-based organizations such as the Kennedy Political Union, Women’s Initiative and the Student Union Board.
At the budget hearing, each group was given 20 minutes to make its case. The representatives from each group stated what the group had accomplished this year as well as the group’s plans for next year. They were then questioned by the budget committee.
The budget committee included Comptroller Robert Donigian, a senior in the Kogod School of Business, Speaker of the Senate Ben Murray, a senior in the School of Public Affairs and International Service, and Class of 2009 Senator Jillian Rubino, a sophomore in SPA who is also the Senate-elected liaison to the budget committee.
Members of the SG Leadership Committee also serve on the budget committee.
The Leadership Committee consists of the chair and vice chair of the three Senate committees: Academic Affairs, Campus Life and University Relations. Members of the Leadership Committee in attendance were Senators Charlie Biscotto, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and SPA, Rosie Scott, a freshman in SIS, Brian Kalish, a junior in the School of Communication and Eagle staff writer, Charlie Kilby, a sophomore in SIS and CAS and Peter Wahlberg, a sophomore in CAS.
Donigian will have five days to work with the budget according to SG bylaws.
Once Donigian has finished drafting the budget, the Leadership Committee will make any changes they feel necessary before the budget is presented to the Senate as a whole. Once handed to the entire Senate, the budget will be up for discussion and further changes.
At the hearings, executive-based organizations made similar presentations. Most asked for an increase in funding to provide more activities and projects for next year.
Rick Edwards, assistant director of the Student Advocacy Center, summed up the sentiment of most organizations when he said SAC “frankly needs more money to do its job.”
A common theme among each presentation was event co-sponsorship. This year, for instance, the Residence Hall Association helped with the SG’s Founder’s Day Ball.KPU and Eco-Sense, among other groups, co-sponsored the Robert Kennedy Jr. speech this past November.
To alleviate some of the need, charging for services - particularly by KPU and SUB - was brought up. However, both groups find the low or no cost for their events is key to their popularity.
“Part of the allure of KPU is that we don’t charge admission,” Taylor Robinson, KPU director and a junior in SPA and CAS, said.