Student Activities budget eight percent higher next fall despite low enrollment

Durgin McCue

Business Manager

The 2016-17 budget passed at the Student Senate’s Feb. 8 meeting will be eight percent higher than last year’s despite declining enrollment.

The budget assumes over $900,000 in revenue, all of which will be spent before the end of the 2016-17 academic year. The largest share of the money, $376,700, will go towards programs such as Springfest, Commencement, and discounted movie tickets. The remainder will be divided among accounts that fund clubs on campus and provide salaries for student activities office employees.

The Senate’s ability to increase the budget is due mainly to a projected increase in revenue for next year. The budget distributed at the meeting predicts an eight percent increase in revenue from student fees alone. The increase in revenue will allow for over $50,000 in new spending.

Salaries and benefits will increase, while contractual expenditures, such as telephone services, will be cut five percent. Three of the four largest contractual expenditures will be cut at least 10 percent, each helping to lower the required amount by about $4,500. At the same time, expenses, which include programming, clubs and travel, will grow 10 percent.

Under the programing heading, the most significant expenditures are spent on the Student Senate’s many events. Next fall’s welcome back barbecue is budgeted at $56,000, with another half-a-dozen events budgeted at over $20,000. “We try as much as possible to focus on the things that students love the most, like the movie tickets and barbeques,” said Student Senate treasurer Josiah Dillon.

Student workers will also see over $4,000 in new funding in next year’s budget. The 19 percent increase is higher than any other increase made to salaries for the 2016-2017 budget.

Due to a larger decrease in enrollment this semester than was calculated when the 2015-2016 budget was passed, some cuts will have to be made for the current semester.

According Dillon, there was some concern that the Student Activities Office would have to cut as much as $40,000 from the current operating budget. However, after further examination, it was discovered that less than $10,000 would have to be eliminated.

“We are trying to look for things to cut within the Student Senate,” said Dillon. “We don’t want to affect the student body too much. If there is something we can do personally to cut back, we want to do that first.”

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