Student fees fund Student Gov budget

Student Government is an­nually entrusted to about a quar­ter of a million dollars in student fee money to fund various orga­nizations, activities and amenities around campus.Student Government is an­nually entrusted to about a quar­ter of a million dollars in student fee money to fund various orga­nizations, activities and amenities around campus.

As of March 25, a surplus of $90,256.30 was left over from the initial $257,306.82 Student Gov­ernment budget for the 2013-14 year.

Between March 25 and July 1, Student Government used $32,516.71 of that surplus, dwindling it to $57,739.59.

That extra money, which accounts for 22.4 percent of the Student Government budget, was de­posited into a Student Government reserve bank account. The reserve account is the second-largest expenditure by the student group.

The totals in this account were not immediately available to Stu­dent Government President Des­mond Miller, but Miller has told The Echo he will work on getting exact figures to the student body.

“Myself, my VP, and Senators were elected by the student body to represent them and the budget was approved unanimously because it was balanced,” Miller said. “I do be­lieve a majority of students would approve of the budget.”

Previous Deficits

Miller said that there was a structural deficit of approximately $50,000 in fiscal year 2012. Miller said one of the reasons for wanting a large sum in a reserve account was in case of an emergency or for one-time purchases.

According to Section 5.2 of the Student Government bylaws, “Student Government shall not run deficits in its operating budget, except in cases of emergencies as determined by a majority of the Senate.”

In the past, Student Govern­ment has used reserve money to replace all the computers in the Student Government offices, and it is now looking at purchasing a col­or printer that will be available to members of the student group as well as other student organizations.

Miller said he has no plans for the surplus beyond that at this point.

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Student Money

The Student Govern­ment budget is funded by students. It draws from por­tions of the EMU General Fund Fee – which students are charged for every semes­ter they attend the university – and portions of tuition fees.

The only paid members of Student Government are Miller, his vice president Ste­ven Cole and his executive board. Student Senators are elected by the student body and are not paid.

Miller said that Student Government has not seen an increase to its budget from the university in six or sev­en years, so it is up Student Government to create a re­serve account. Tuition and fees have increased at EMU almost every year over the last seven years.

The budget for the 2014-15 school year shows that $256,439.35 is available to Student Govern­ment. It does not account for any of last year’s surplus.

Cut Expenditures

The New York Times, which was free to students last year, was cut from the Student Government budget in the 2014-15 year. The cur­rent budget also cut home­coming expenses and funding for TurboVote, a service that makes voter registration and absentee voting accessible.

The money spent on The New York Times was initially rumored to have been spent on funding for a 24-hour floor in the library, but the Halle Library is currently not operating at 24 hours a day in any capacity.

Miller said that The New York Times budget went to­ward sending more students to alternative spring breaks, subsidizing the GRE prep course for students and rapid HIV and STD testing.

Miller said homecom­ing funding was cut because Campus Life funds the event and it was his choice to use that funding in different areas.

TurboVote was a pro­gram Student Government tried out but decided to ter­minate because it did not per­form up to expectations. In­stead Student Government is performing campaigns across campus to try and increase student voter participation.


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