Student Council unanimously approves $21,000 budget to fund summer initiatives

Student Council’s summer budget cycle begins in May and lasts through September

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The 2019 summer budget allocates $21,593.33 in funds to several Student Council committees, $453.31 less than the 2018 summer budget. 

Courtesy Student Council

Student Council approved a budget to allow for the allocation of funds to its various committees this summer at its general body meeting Tuesday night. The total budget allocates $21,593.33 —  $453.31 less than the 2018 summer budget

The budget makes use of both Student Activities Fees-related funding and funds that are not pertinent to the SAF. SAF funds come from a $25 semesterly fee that students pay to support Student Council’s funding of Contracted Independent Organizations on Grounds. Non-SAF funds are raised by Student Council through a variety of sources including the Student Activities Fair, various fundraisers and their endowment.

The summer budget allocates $10,533.33 in SAF funds and $11,060 in non-SAF funds. The funds will be divided between the various committees of Student Council, based on their needs. Many of Student Council’s committees receive no funding during the summer budget cycle as they typically do not carry out initiatives requiring funds during this time. 

For example, Student Council’s Arts, Buildings and Grounds, Diversity Engagement, Graduate Affairs and Safety and Wellness committees were not allocated any funds for this summer as none were requested. However, Ellie Brasacchio, Student Council president and a third-year College student, said additional funding could be requested if needed during the summer budget cycle from the Executive and Administrative Operations Committee’s discretionary fund — which includes $2,000 of SAF funds and $2,000 of non-SAF funds.  

Among the committees that received the most funding were the Student Life Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee, with allocations of $4,560 and $3,000, respectively. For Student Life, $4,500 of the funds are SAF, and the Academic Affairs budget includes $625 of SAF funds and $2,375 of non-SAF funding. 

Academic Affairs funding will be applied to a variety of programs, including $625 for the Fall Academic Resource Fair, which aims to provide incoming and transfer students with resources as they begin their time at the University. $2,375 of the committee’s budget will also be used to fund Student Council’s ongoing Cavalier Education program which provides resources and supplies for student-taught and designed classes at the University. 

The Student Life budget will be primarily used to fund the U.Va. AirBus program — a low-cost transportation initiative which allows students to purchase $20 chartered-bus tickets to regional airports in Richmond and Washington, D.C. at the end of each semester. 

Other Student Council committees that received substantial amounts of funding were the Athletic Affairs, Legislative Affairs and Sustainability committees. 

Athletic Affairs was allocated a total of  $2,210 — $1,510 of which are SAF funds. $1,357 of these SAF funds are budgeted to fund an annual initiative in which compostable cups for distributing water at home football games are provided to students at games where the heat index reaches or exceeds 90 degrees. For this year, there are currently 9,000 cups available which are expected to to supply water for 3 games, if needed. 

Legislative Affairs was allocated a total of $900, $600 of which are SAF funds. The committee’s current allocation is expected to be used to purchase materials and supplies for an ongoing initiative by the committee and other student organizations to register students to vote during move-in weekend this fall and at subsequent voter registration events. 

Sustainability was allocated a total of $920, $870 of which are SAF funds. The majority of these funds are set aside for the purchase and distribution of compostable cups and other materials at various “zero waste events” around Grounds. For example, the committee will provide 2,000 compostable cups to distribute water for attendees at the annual fall activities fair this fall in partnership with the University's Facilities Management department. 

During the meeting, Andrew Williams, a second-year Commerce student and chief financial officer, went through the budget section by section. Representatives were given the opportunity to ask questions or propose amendments. None did, and the budget passed as originally proposed. 

Student Council also approved the creation of a new CIO called the Middle Eastern and North African Law Student Association. 

According to the language of the bill, the mission of the organization is to promote the welfare of its members through educational, professional, cultural and social programs and aims to provide a discussion forum for both the Middle Eastern and North African law student community as well as the University community as a whole.

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