The University of Connecticut Undergraduate Student Government Senate unanimously voted to pass the budget for the next fiscal year, 2022, at their meeting Wednesday night. This budget allows for large funding allocations for Tier-II organizations, Husky Market and USG’s Period Box and Menstrual Supplies Initiative.
At the beginning of the previous fiscal year, USG had 1.8 million dollars in the bank and an additional 360,000 dollars in outstanding obligations, resulting in a 1.4 million dollar rollover.
In the coming 2022 fiscal year, the organization’s main source of revenue will be from the student activity fee at Storrs, accounting for 1.65 million in revenue for both semesters. Each of the 18,000 undergraduate students at the Storrs campus pays this fee each semester, totaling $45 per student.
According to the USG Comptroller Chris Bergen, USG’s net worth has grown to an unprecedented level over the past five years, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because the organization couldn’t spend as much as normal and they didn’t cut student fees, according to Bergen.
The budget overview, which includes the allocated expenditure for roles such as the president, student services committee and comptroller, has listed close to 3.1 million dollars in total allocated expenditures for this fiscal year.
Within the 1.557 million dollar budget for the Office of the Comptroller, Tier-II clubs have been allocated one million dollars, making them the biggest expenditure, according to the final budget proposal.
The Student Services Committee’s largest expenditure will be for Husky Market, where 300,000 dollars will be put towards supporting students in need, helping them to buy groceries from local outlets, according to the budget.
82,000 dollars will be put towards the Period Box and Menstrual Supplies Initiative, which provides free menstrual products to Storrs students. 75,000 dollars is going to the Water Bottle Initiative, where water refill stations will be installed in academic buildings and dorms. USG is aiming for 20 stations and is using the annual fund from Coca-Cola to support this project, according to Bergen.
He also said USG is trying to spend down their bank account from the previous year to avoid the university reassessing the student fee amount and to make up for a lack of spending in recent years. He said the organization wants students to get the most out of their money, rather than essentially paying a tax but not benefitting from it.
“We want to spend 100% of the money that we receive each year, because students should get 100% back in services from what they pay in activity fees. We’re not like a normal business trying to rack up a bank account,” Bergen said.