StudCo introduces budget
Council to appropriate $90,000; committees see upcoming year’s funds slashed
Student Council introduced its 2012-2013 budget Tuesday evening, appropriating about $90,000 for initiatives this year.
The majority of Council’s funding — about $70,000 — comes from the $22 Student Activities Fee every student pays each semester. These fees account for nearly $10,000 less than they did in last year’s budget.
Many Council members expressed surprise at the decrease in available SAF funds. “We’re supposed to appropriate that money and considering there are more students this year, I don’t know how that happened,” said Alex Reber, Council Chair of the Representative Body. Reber and other Council members plan to look into the discrepancy.
Council also had to make cuts this year because of decreased non-SAF funds, said third-year College student Allie Mootz, Council’s chief financial officer. Non-SAF fees are obtained through agreements with companies such as the University Bookstore.
“All the committees’ budgets were cut this year because we’re not getting as much non-SAF funds,” she said. “But it was all committees not just one. We tried to make it as fair as possible.”
One committee, that governing Student Affairs, stood out among all 13 Presidential committees as receiving the most funding in Tuesday’s appropriation discussions. It will receive more than $8,000 with about $6,500 of this going toward funding the UVAirbus program, which provides transportation to students who need transportation to Dulles and Richmond airports during breaks.
The Academic Affairs committee is slated to receive about $6,500 in funding, the second-highest appropriation. Nearly $4,000 of the funding will underwrite “Look Hoo’s Talking,” an event inspired by TED talks that brings together University professors to discuss “big ideas” in the spring.
In its first year as an official Council committee, the Graduate Affairs committee will use its operating budget to hold graduate student mixers and research symposiums and organize social events to promote collaboration between students from different graduate schools.
As the national presidential election draws near, the bipartisan Legislative Affairs committee plans to sponsor events which will involve students in the political process, including funding voter registration drives around Grounds and visits to the University by political candidates. Currently, the committee is in talks with the Romney campaign for a potential visit to Grounds.
Council also included a $6,000 discretionary fund — a $1,000 increase from last year — to allow “greater flexibility” in responding to unexpected costs and to allow them to better respond to the student body.
Until Tuesday night’s meeting, Council had relied on remaining funds from the summer student activity budget. Summer funding covered events such as the Fall Activities Fair and Council retreat, as well as the free water-bottle initiative at the first two home football games.
Council is expected to vote to approve the budget next week.