The Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriations Committee released a draft budget Tuesday allocating $979,200 to on-campus student programs.

Available funds shot up $19,200 from last year’s allocation due to the standard rate of inflation — a measure made possible through the Student Activities Fee and Endowment Reform referendum of 2010.

However, Fin/App Committee Chair Sheila Walsh (COL ’14) described this year’s increase as “chump-change” in comparison to last year’s $160,000 increase in allocation funds due to the implementation of SAFE Reform.

Walsh said this funding plateau added an additional limitation to allocating money to organizations that have continually upped their overall proposal.

“This year represents the first budget summit that didn’t increase because of SAFE reform,” Walsh said. “So this means that, practically, we were looking at fiscal year 2013’s budget as a template, so you’re not going to see a lot of any drastic changes in allocation from fiscal year ’13 to fiscal year ’14.”

Walsh supported the idea of another SAFE referendum in the future to further increase available funding for student groups.

“I think that definitely down the road there is going to be a need for another Student Activities Fee increase,” Walsh said. “I can’t pinpoint an exact amount or when that referendum will have to happen, but I think that’s something that will come.”

Of the proposals, Fin/App allocated $234,000 — the largest single amount allocated — to the Advisory Board for Club Sports. While this amount increases ABCS funding from the $228,087 allocated to the board last year, the amount fell short of ABCS’ proposal and primarily denied $41,000 in funding for a start-up club sports trainer program — a big-ticket item on the ABCS agenda.

Walsh cites this budget cut as a reality of a limited budget with a multitude of proposals but said that the lack of funding does not represent a rejection of the proposed program.

“We can’t really dictate how [they] actually go about spending [their funding],” Walsh said. “So, club sports, they have the option of going to the individual teams saying as a blanket statement that we are going to fund your team at ‘x’ percentage … and they can make a conscious decision to direct more of that money to a pilot training program.”

Walsh added that the Fin/App Committee would be open to ABCS proposals for an athletic-trainer program in the years to come, especially with the presence of a pilot program.

The Student Activities Commission received $158,000 — 67 percent of the requested funds and the second largest allocation of all groups. However, this budget marked the first year that GUSA did not increase funding for SAC.

Most discrepancy occurred over social funding in which organizations often requested more than needed for events and maintenance. Walsh said the limited budget contributed to the decreased funding.

The Georgetown University Lecture Fund returned to GUSA for funding and was allocated $65,000 for the year, marking a $5,000 increase from last year’s funding. This will allow for the cosponsorship of events with SAC groups and aid the limited budget of SAC.

The Office of Campus Ministry, which presented a budget proposal of $23,950 on behalf of eight faith-based groups for the first time at this year’s GUSA budget summit, was allocated $12,000.

“The process [of integration] is evolving,” Walsh said of the inclusion of Campus Ministry into the GUSAbudget. “Initially [at] the start of the year, campus ministry was referring to themselves as an advisory board, but … they didn’t abide by [GUSA and Fin/App’s] Six-Point reforms.”

These points require the board to be entirely student-run, which was not the case with many faculty and administrative aspects of Campus Ministry.

“I hesitate to say that we’re hesitant in funding them, but it’s like a pilot for them,” Walsh said. “We can see what they do with the funding that we give them and if they decide to form a structure that abides byGUSA standards. … I think that’s something we are going to see down the road and I hope to see.”

Campus Ministry will take over funding for the Jewish Student Association, previously supported by SAC, freeing up around $6,800 to fund alternative groups.

The JSA was the last SAC-funded religious group. Despite their initial concerns, JSA decided to switch funding sources.

“Our only reservation was that Jewish students might confuse the work the JSA does with the work Jewish Chaplaincy does. Many students participate in JSA events because they revolve around community building and social life. The Chaplaincy focuses more on education and religious programming,” Isaac Mishlove (SFS ’15) said. “If a student was not so interested in Jewish education and religious programs, but more interested in community building and social life, we would not want that student to feel that the JSA’s ties to the Jewish Chaplaincy meant we were doing the same work as them.”

The Georgetown Media Board was allocated $51,000, which falls $7,000 short of the requested allocation due to denied funding for a new website for WGTB. Committee members thought the new website was unnecessary and financially unfeasible this year.

The Performing Arts Advisory Council’s funding request was granted in full at $32,500 and will be allocated toward storage space during construction of the New South Student Center.

Other non-board groups returned to GUSA for funding, including the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior Class Committees — allocated $5,000 in total — as well as Homecoming — granted $15,000 — and Traditions Day — granted $4,500 in funding.

The draft budget will be open to public critique and appeal until March 15. The Fin/App Committee will hear appeals through March 19 and will finalize the budget on March 20 to send to the GUSA senate for ratification.

 

Hoya Staff Writer Meghan Patzer contributed reporting.

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