2014-2015 SGA budget to include more student organization funding

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    The addition of more student organization funding is the biggest change in the 2014-2015 Student Government Association budget, Treasurer Zach Madel said. 

    Madel said the amount of money in the budget available to student organizations next year will increase by $15,000 for a total of $115,000.

    He also said that although he had originally planned an increase of $10,000 to student organization funding, after receiving feedback from the open budget forum on Tuesday night, he decided to add another $5,000.

    “I’m always excited to give more [money], because student orgs do a lot of good things,” Madel said.

    Student Body President Cody Westphal, the previous treasurer, said that in prior years, the amount of student organization funding in the budget was not fully used.

    However, he said this year has shown that as student organizations mature and grow, their monetary needs increase.

    “Our SGA, and TCU in general, cares a lot about organizations, and the fact that we give them that much money is what we want,” Westphal said.  “It’s what orgs want, [and] it’s what students want.  It’s the responsible thing, it’s the right thing, [and] it’s the best thing.  It does a lot of good for the campus, and it does a lot of good for the orgs.”

    Madel said that almost all student organizations applying for money are able to receive some.  Whether each organization receives the full amount they ask for is dependent on the amount, he said.

    “We have about $100,000, and about 100 orgs have applied, and it averages out to about $1,000 per org who applies. Orgs who ask for small amounts will nearly get the full amount,” Madel said.

    Out of 82 student organizations that have applied to the Activities Funding Board and the Finance Committee this year, eight organizations did not receive any money, according to a spreadsheet made by Madel.

    Madel said this was either because the organizations didn’t want to spend their own money or didn’t have a clear event or purpose planned for the money for which they were asking.

    Amit Lalvani, a junior finance and accounting double major who attended the open budget forum, said he feels simply increasing the money for student organizations “would not cut it.”

    He said that it’s important for records to be kept of how much money each organization is given and how they have spent their money, but that he is happy with Madel’s work as treasurer.

    “I’m really happy with the work Zach [Madel] is doing right now,” Lalvani said.

    Lalvani said that he and Madel are trying to find creative ways of helping underfunded organizations that need help putting on events with their current money.

    Lalvani, who participates in the TEDxTCU organization that brings TED talks to campus, said that it’s important that student organizations don’t “inflate how much money they need.”

    “If you ask for $10,000 to put up an event which costs $2,000 and you’re given more money, you aren’t spending that money.  And you’re denying other people access to that money.” he said.

    Out of the $100,000 designated for student organizations funding in this year’s budget, about $1,156 currently remains, Madel said.

    Madel said that since passing through the SGA cabinet on Wednesday and the House Executive Committee today, the 2014-2015 budget will be presented to House members for a vote during the next SGA meeting on Tuesday, March 25.