The Vermont Cynic

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SGA finalizes 2017-2018 club budget

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Each year, SGA is tasked with creating a budget to help fund all 147 student organizations recognized at UVM.

The $1.3 million budget, allocates funds to SGA-recognized organizations for the 2017-2018 academic year. It was passed March 21.

The budget has increased about $59,000 since last year, according to documents obtained by the Cynic.

The budgeting process allows clubs and organizations to reach out to other students and enhance their programs as well as the greater UVM community, SGA President Jason Malucci stated in a March 23 email.

The allocation of funds is determined by looking at budgets from previous years, as well as a hearing process required for any club requesting over $20,000, stated Jake Guarino, chair of the SGA finance committee in a March 23 email.

According to the SGA financial policies document, other factors that determine the amount of money allocated to any club include the number of members the club’s impact on the UVM community, and the club’s past integrity, financial responsibility and performance.

Clubs are likely to obtain only a percentage of the funds they requested. This year, many were allocated less than half their funds.

In the upcoming academic year, clubs that received the greatest amount of allocated funds included the club crew team, the Outing Club and the Ski and Snowboard Club, which were the highest budgeted clubs last year as well.

Ski and Snowboard Club will receive $50,200, over half the amount of their requested $77,290. The Outing Club also typically gets more money than most clubs; they will be allocated $61,495, nearly 80 percent of their requested $77,696.

The crew team may have such a high budget because it has over 80 members that need to be transported to and from regattas, in addition to the expense of regatta fees, paying coaching staff and various amounts of equipment, said senior Alyssa Handelman, crew team treasurer.

Club crew will receive $98,600 for the 2017-2018 school year, more than any club; this is just 50 percent of their requested amount of $198,346.

The leaders of SSC declined to comment about their budget.

Even the top-funded clubs have concerns about not being allocated their entire requested budget.

“One of the reasons our requested budget was high was because our current head coach has to leave after this year,” Handelman said. “In order to attract a new coach we wanted to be able to offer a salary that matched the level of commitment and caliber we’re hoping for.”

While SGA attempts to allocate adequate funding to each club, it is impossible to give all clubs the amount of funding they request, Guarino stated.

The funding for these clubs comes from a $200 fee that all UVM students pay, stated Richard Cate, UVM vice president of finance in an email March 23.

Clubs can request the funds they feel they need and are then given the funds the SGA feels is necessary, depending on the budget, Guarino stated.

If the clubs are unhappy with this allocation, they can later appeal to SGA, he stated.

“The appeals process is not meant to be a re-do of the budget,” Guarino stated in a March 27 email “but rather just a few items that we can hopefully help them with.”

The process opens a week after the budgets are sent to clubs, who can then come in and meet with the Finance Committee and discuss a few parts of the budget they wish to prioritize, he stated.

Guarino stated that for the most part, SGA is able to give clubs some additional funding than their original budget, but this is on a case-by-case basis.  

Disclosure: Alyssa Handelman is a staff illustrator.

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SGA finalizes 2017-2018 club budget