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Student Activities Committee to consider $162,470 Student Council budget

The budget passed Student Council’s representative body after several weeks of deliberation

<p>Student Council meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the South Meeting Room of Newcomb Hall.</p>

Student Council meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the South Meeting Room of Newcomb Hall.

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Student Council’s representative body passed a fall budget of $162,470 at a special legislative session Wednesday following many weeks of deliberation. This budget is not official until the Student Activities Funding Meeting, when the Student Activities Committee formally discusses and potentially approves the budget at hand. 

The budget passed with 14 votes in favor and two abstentions from third-year College student Rep. Nickolaus Cabrera and Darden student Rep. Megan Huntsinger via proxy.

$153,275 of funding for the budget comes from the Student Activities Fee, the $50 fee students pay yearly as part of their tuition, and $9,195 comes from non-SAF funding. This year’s budget is 15 percent larger than last year’s and pulls 18 percent more from SAF funding. 

Ceci Cain, president of Student Council and graduate student, said the budget marks the continuation of efforts within Student Council to fund student needs directly.

“We've really changed our funding philosophies in Student Council in that time, so that we're directly meeting the needs of all different types of students at the school in order to thrive,” Cain said. “We're using that fee to go back directly to students, and so a lot of that can be seen in the creation of our Support and Access Services branch, and things that we have started, like paying for outpatient mental therapy care and the other services in that branch.”

Presidential Cabinet Agency

The Presidential Cabinet Agency has a budget of $90,275, with $89,600 coming from SAF funding. This is an increase of $36,800 from last fall’s budget of $53,475.

The Presidential Cabinet Agency is responsible for the administration and carrying out of the president’s short and long-term goals — this year, some of these include the provision of goods and services to students, such as diversity grants and more support for historically underserved CIOs.

The Academic Affairs Agency is set to receive $5,000 of SAF Funding. This funding will mantain “Lou’s List,” a website created by Physics Prof. Lou Bloomfield that organizes course offerings to help students plan their class schedules. Bloomfield plans to retire and no longer manage Lou’s List, so Student Council is exploring options to keep it running.

The Arts Agency will receive $7,500 of SAF funding directed towards the Arts Fund, a fund designed to support music, theater, dance, architecture, writing and visual arts projects for students that do not have the means to support such projects. This fund is also designed to provide for marginalized communities and art. 

The Community Engagement Agency will receive $8,350 in SAF funding directed toward a Custodial Appreciation luncheon, bulk bags of candy for Trick or Treating on the Lawn, compensation for tours held by the Jefferson School and reimbursements for tutors’ Uber rides.

The Diversity Engagement Agency will receive $30,000 in SAF funding, which will be directed toward diversity grants. These grants are designed to support multicultural CIOs and remedy pipeline problems that exist between allocations and these organizations. 

The Financial Accessibility Agency will receive $8,250 in SAF funding and $175 in non-SAF Funding. This non-SAF funding will be directed towards providing dinner at a workshop for low-income students designed to empower students to apply for benefits provided by the state government. $8,000 of SAF funding will go towards Cavalier Advantage Grants, a new program designed to support students by way of grants to be used for printing and laundry. The remaining $250 will go towards assisting the Mutual Aid Free Store by providing hangers, clothing and shoe racks and anything not provided by donations.

The Graduate Affairs Agency will receive $4,400 in SAF Funding. Of these funds, $1,700 will go towards the provision of food and beverages at monthly Dean-Graduate Student Forums designed to encourage communication between the two parties. An additional $1,700 will go towards food and beverages at events designed to encourage Inter-Graduate Program interaction. The remaining $1,000 will go towards a Graduation Housing Program Forum.

The International Student Affairs Agency will receive $4,750 in SAF funding and $300 in non-SAF Funding. $450 of SAF funding will go towards Coffee and Cultural Food at Community Building programs. A total of $4,050, split as $3,800 SAF and $250 non-SAF will go towards International CIO Partnership covering event costs, food and printing and publicizing costs for community-wide events. $500 of SAF funding will go towards the organization of bonding events and trips during fall, Thanksgiving and winter break for international students. 

The Legislative Affairs Agency is set to receive $1,100 in SAF funding and $200 in non-SAF funding. $50 of SAF funding will be spent on supplies for voter registration, including labels, pens and flyers. Additionally, $50 of SAF funding and $200 of non-SAF funding will be spent to support three to five town halls with the goal of increasing student civic engagement, allowing students to voice concerns, learn how to lobby in local and state politics and recruit students to speak at City Council meetings and email, call or meet with representatives of the General Assembly. The $50 of SAF funding will be spent on advertising materials and the $200 of non-SAF will be spent on food. The remaining $1,000 will be spent in providing students rides to the polls on election day and sooner for early voting.

The Safety and Wellness Agency will receive $16,900 of SAF funding. $16,000 will cover free STI testing clinics, providing testing and transportation. This funding estimate was provided by Planned Parenthood to test for syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis C and trichomoniasis for 100 students. The remaining $900 will be used to provide menstrual products in all female-identifying hall restrooms and all male-identifying restrooms on the first floor of five dorm buildings.

The Student Life Agency will receive $3,000 in SAF funding designated to the creation of roughly 100 nonperishable meal kits for students who experience food insecurity during Thanksgiving Break. 

The Sustainability Agency will receive $350 of SAF funding. Of this funding, $100 will go towards the provision of donation bins and hangers for the gender-neutral and body-positive sustainable closet they will be developing with donations from the community. Further, $250 of SAF funding will go towards zero waste materials for the agency itself, including compostable office supplies and publicity materials for climate action programs. 

Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee will receive $5,845, divided between $2,475 of SAF funding and $3,370 of non-SAF funding. This marks a $1,295 increase from last fall’s allocations. This committee is responsible for the internal operations and community relations of Student Council 

The Data Science sub-committee will receive $450 in SAF funding. This money will go to data collection on bus utilization with the goal of encouraging more bus lines and more frequent bus schedules. 

The Finance Subcommittee will Receive $2,195 divided between $1,325 of SAF funding and $870 of non-SAF funding. These funds serve as Student Council’s reserve, with these funds set aside to be spent on costs of their respective category in the event of a financial deficit. 

The Membership Subcommittee will receive $3,200, divided between $700 in SAF Funding and $2,500 in non-SAF funding. Of these funds, $300 SAF funds will go towards undocuAlly training designed to educate members of the ways in which they can support undocumented students on Grounds. 

Support and Access Service

The Support and Access Service Branch will receive $29,400 in total, with $28,600 coming from SAF funds and $800 from non-SAF funds. This is $4,510 more than the $24,890 allocated last fall. 

The Support and Access Branch is the newest of branches, approved in a constitutional referendum two years ago and currently directed by third-year College student Tichara Robertson. This branch is designed to provide services and material items to students.

The Accommodations Access Fund will receive a $5,000 fund contribution from SAF funding. These grants are used to offer partial to full scholarships for low-income students disability certifications, allowing them to access SDAC services. 

The Airbus Committee will receive $11,000 of SAF funds to provide low-cost inbound and outbound transportation for students at Thanksgiving break and winter break, charging students $20 a ticket. $3,000 will be allocated toward Thanksgiving travel and $8,000 to winter break travel.

The Next Steps Fund will be replenished with a $10,000 contribution from SAF funds. This fund subsidizes payment for student’s first six sessions with an outpatient Charlottesville community therapist. 

Student Legal Services will receive $750, with $350 arising from SAF funds, and $400 from non-SAF funds. $400 of non-SAF funds will be spent on providing food for Know Your Rights Workshops and $50 of SAF funds will be spent on advertising for these events. These workshops are designed to educate students about their rights as members of the Charlottesville community. The remaining $300 SAF funds will be spent on advertising materials for Student Legal Services outreach to improve student knowledge of the committee and its services. 

The Textbook Access Office will receive $1,600 of SAF Funds. Of these funds, $1,100 will go towards supporting the Textbook Access Rental Service, providing used textbooks and stickers in order to ensure all books have stickers needed for identification purposes, as well as obtaining and purchasing used textbooks to increase supply. The remaining $500 will be spent on replacing the broken bookshelf that was previously unable to support the amount of textbooks in inventory. 

U.Va. Mutual Aid will receive $650 of SAF funds and $400 of non-SAF funds. Of these funds, the $400 non-SAF funds will be spent on seasonal product sales alongside $400 SAF funds that will be spent on donation drive prize incentives, both with the purpose of incentivizing more grassroots donations. The remaining $250 of SAF funds will be spent on marketing for Mutual Aid and its free store by way of printing flyers, stickers and other means of advertisement. 

Organizations Committee

The Organizations Committee will receive $12,250, $12,000 from SAF funds and $250 from non-SAF funds. This is $9,400 fewer than last year’s budget. 

The Appropriations Subcommittee will receive $150 non-SAF funds to support the provision of food for members and CIO representatives when the committee has questions for CIOs regarding their requests. 

The CIO Consultants Subcommittee is the non-financial resource provider to CIOs and will receive $12,000 SAF funds. $9,000 of these funds will go to free CIO printing in Newcomb Hall. The remaining $3,000 will go to supporting the Spring Activities Fair.

The Organizations Recognition Subcommittee is tasked with vetting and approving or rejecting new CIO applications and will receive $100 of non-SAF funds. This will be split evenly in providing refreshments at the two CIO Application workshops. 

Representative Committee

The Representative Committee is the Branch representing the Representative Body and any financial initiatives tied to their drafting and passing legislation. It will receive $15,500 — $15,000 of SAF Funds and $500 of non-SAF funds. 

$10,000 SAF funds will be spent on providing roughly 1,000 COVID-19 rapid tests designed to ensure students still have access to this resource after the University stopped providing these free tests to students. Additionally, SAF funds will support a speaker fee of $5,000 designed to bring a speaker to Grounds for the advancement of Black people at the University. The remaining $500 non-SAF funds will be stored as discretionary funds to be spent as the representative body approves.

Executive and Administrative Operations

This branch provides funding to executive operations designed to advance the interests of the organization and greater student body. This branch is set to receive $5,700, with this split between $3,600 SAF funds and $2,100 non-SAF funds. This is a $25,100 decrease from funds allocated last fall.

Of these funds, $3,000 SAF and $1,750 non-SAF will be designated as discretionary spending designed to ensure the executive board has money to spend as they see fit and work greater flexibility into the budget. The remaining $500 SAF funds and $350 non-SAF funds will be spent on needs for Student Council’s office space, including office supplies and a Land and Enslaved Laborers Plaque funded by SAF funds and snacks funded with non-SAF funds.

Coalition Engagement

The Coalition Engagement Committee is tasked with overseeing relationships with external organizations and Student Council. It will receive $3,500, divided between $2,000 and $1,500 non-SAF Funds. This is a $1,500 decrease from last fall’s allocations. 

These funds will be spent entirely on co-sponsorship funding, providing funds for renting venues, cultural food, cultural items, marketing, and other needs.

Student Council meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the South Meeting Room of Newcomb Hall.