Student organizations presented their budgets and fees at the Student Activity and Service Fee Advisory Committee (SASFAC) to elicit recommendations regarding the fee structure on Tuesday.
“Having this hearing is very important. Students should have the opportunity to voice their opinions and thoughts about where their student fee money goes,” Santiago Pelaez, general manager of UConn’s radio station, WHUS, said.
Pelaez said WHUS wanted to maintain the current fee. He said that this is usually what the organization has requested at previous hearings.
“We made sure to emphasize that we are planning on balancing our budget to the best of our ability,” Pelaez said. “Our main objective going forward is to use our budget in a sustainable manner while encouraging student involvement in the organization by promoting our departments and the various content they provide for the student body and general public.”
Most of the questions regarding the WHUS budget were clarifications and not negative feedback.
However, there are some organizations that require a lot more funding and discussion.
Storrs Summer Session is a program sponsored by the Student Activities office that provides a 12-13 week-long event series in Storrs over the summer, Kyle Neary, program coordinator at the office of student activities, said.
The program offers events, such as ice cream socials, live music and craft or movie nights most nights of the week, as well as “tours away from Storrs,” which allows students who are on campus all summer to travel to local areas, Neary said.
The program gained a little over $36,000 in revenue last year, Neary said, and a little over $45,000 in 2014.
“Getting students involved during the summer is growing. The $45,000 is a good number to look at. Looking forward and adjusting our budgets, if we do not get close to that, if we get 9,000 short we definitely need to adjust,” Neary said.
Additionally, the increased minimum wage is expected to hurt revenues this year, Neary said.
SUBOG was also present at the hearing. They had additional revenue they were hoping to use to help fund other organizations on campus.
Currently, SUBOG has $255,000 in reserve. They are looking to spend $100,000 of the money on the Synergy Program, SUBOG president, Joe Rosa, said.
According to SUBOG’s website, “SUBOG Synergy can provide additional funding to organizations on campus such as the cultural centers, academic departments, and offices within Student Affairs for program co-sponsorship.”
The SASFAC will meet again in two weeks to discuss the requests given at the committee regarding funding, and will then give their recommendations. The committee recommendations are almost always followed, Jessica Baicker, business manager of the Daily Campus, said.
“These hearings are incredibly important to monitor the way that Tier III organizations fund their programs. The Daily Campus, and every other Tier III organization, is funded mostly by student fees,” Baicker said. “Creating the SASFAC budget helps the organizations' executive officers to figure out whether or not their goals for the future of the organization are affordable and attainable.”