Student activity fees dispersed around FMU

Brooke Holden, Staff Writer

Senators were in disarray at the SGA meeting held on Thursday, April 14.   SGA Chairwoman of the Rules and Ethics Committee Jackqueline Lowery proposed an amendment to reduce the amount of funds dispersed to registered student organizations.

“[The documents] came directly from Student Affairs that basically our budget wouldn’t allow for it,” said Lowery.

Lowery is referring to the SGA Award budget that awards money to registered organizations on campus.  A portion of the $131.00 student activity fees, paid by students, funds the SGA Awards.

Currently, each registered student organization can request SGA Award allocations up to $1500.  If the new amendment passes, registered organizations can request a total of $700, if approved.

This is due in part to the increase of student organizations and the amount that is carried over from each fiscal year.

Director of Communications Angela Crosland said that when budgeting, it is wise to operate on the allocation, not the carry over.

“You know what your base is going to be, but you don’t know what your carry over is going to be,” she said.  “Organizations sometimes think, ‘Oh we have plenty left’, you should never do that, you should always operate on the base amount, because the other fluctuates depending on expenditures,” she said.

Student activity fees were introduced in the mid-1990s under the leadership of SGA.
“[SGA] took it to the board and asked for it because they wanted to be able to fund more programming,” Crosland said.

In the last fiscal year, $151,961.00 was allocated from student activity fees for student activities.

Student activities include: FMU University Programming Board, $74,250; FMU The Patriot newspaper $29,779; FMU SGA Award for organizations $23,500; FMU SGA Operations $18,500; and FMU student activities, like Welcome Week, Homecoming, Leadership, etc. $15,863.00.  This totals $177,712.00 of which, $25,751 was carried over from the previous year.

The deductions from student activity fees leave the carry over, with a fluctuation of a couple hundred dollars.

As for the rest of the money from student activity fees:

“[Students] enjoy the athletic complex and every other sporting activity,” Crosland said.  “Of the student activity fees, $26.50 goes toward activities and programs coordinated by student affairs. The remainder funds the athletic complex.”