Volume 71, Issue 13
December 12, 1999

Deficit prompts SGA to pass budget bill, limit future spending

Angela Sammons

The recent debt increase within the SGA has prompted the passage of a fiscal responsibility bill.

"The college gives us $6,700 per semester to fund SGA related activities as well as clubs, task forces, and honor groups," said Sotereas 'Teris' Pantazes, current SGA Treasurer.

"In the past few years, we have obtained our office and have had to fund the supplies that are needed to maintain it. We have also funded the George Washington head. This funding has increased our debt, so we're trying to underspend."

The bill basically states that the SGA is aware of the increasing fiscal burden being placed upon it, and that it is alarmed by the past actions of budget spending, including the overspending of individual budgets by the various clubs.

This bill is used as a guideline set for clubs, task forces, honor groups, and the SGA to adhere to.

"All the bill does is codify what has been the policy of the SGA for many years; it makes it against SGA regulations for the SGA and the SGA funded clubs and organizations to overspend," stated Seth Gabriel, Senator and Chair of the Special Committee on Fiscal Responsibility. "It forms a policy of action for the SGA if a club or organization does overspend."

"The bill is simply stating that we can never put out a budget that exceeds the funds given by the school," Pantazes added.

The bill restricts all student clubs and organizations that receive funding from the SGA to operate within their institutional budgets or penalties will be placed upon them.

Currently, the SGA is planning to simply subtract the overspending that the club accrued from their funds for the following semester. Also, all funding violations will be duly noted and considered before any future allocations are made.

The bill requires the SGA treasurer, Pantazes, to conduct a review of all SGA departments and organizations each semester, producing a complete report of allocation expenditures. The review will also help to decrease and eliminate unneeded spending.

"We cut from executive office hours and took a 25% pay cut this year to help reduce the deficit," Pantazes noted. "We are also hoping that the clubs will soon be completely responsible for their own budgets."

On a positive note, "This year's club funding was increased, but we hope to increase them even more next year," Gabriel said. "More club funding is always the best. All SGA funding is really the student body's, money, not the SGA's. The more money we get to the students, the better."