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Student Affairs Committee approves Student Council’s annual budget and $1 SAF increase

The new budget officially went into effect Sept. 29

Approximately 95 percent of the budget comes from the Student Activities Fee — a fee included in tuition that funds student organizations.
Approximately 95 percent of the budget comes from the Student Activities Fee — a fee included in tuition that funds student organizations.

The Student Affairs Committee has officially approved Student Council’s 2023-24 budget as well as a $1 increase to the Student Activities Fee — a decrease from Student Council’s proposed $2.  

This year’s budget, the first annual budget rather than two semester budgets since the COVID-19 pandemic, totals $317,787, which is $11,000 more than last year’s final version. Approximately 95 percent of the budget comes from the Student Activities Fee — a fee included in tuition that funds student organizations.

The SAC, a group of University employees under the guidance of the University vice president and chief student affairs officer, must approve any uses of SAF money by Student Council. After the Student Council representative body voted to approve the annual budget Sept. 26, the SAC approved the budget Sept. 29. 

While SAC members approved the annual budget with no modifications, they requested that the SAF increase by $1 to total $58 instead of the original proposal of a $2 increase. Holly Sims, vice president for administration and graduate Batten student, told members at a general body meeting Tuesday that the SAC requested this change because even numbers make it easier for the University to bill this annual fee. 

“Student Financial Services asked us to have an even dollar amount of fee so when they split it across two semesters, they don't split it on cents, they split it on the dollar,” Sims said. 

While SAC gave Student Council executive board members the option to increase the SAF by $1 or $3, Sims said that they opted to increase the fee by $1 because Student Council’s representative body had not approved an increase greater than $2. This change will increase revenue for Student Council by $47,000 based on 2022 enrollment numbers.

A $58 SAF fee is still the final value Sims had hoped to land on even without the extra $1 increase — a clerical error that occurred when the University switched platforms from Oracle to Workday resulted in an extra $1 that was reallocated to the Student Activities Fee from the Student Athletics Fee. 

While the Board of Visitors will also need to sign off on the $1 increase at their next meeting, Sims said she was optimistic about their approval. 

“The good news about this is it’s also within their 3 percent maximum increase guidelines so they have even less of a reason to turn it down,” Sims said. 

Executive board members also announced that their general body meetings will host a speaker series over the upcoming weeks, including speakers from Hoos First, the Faculty Senate and the Office of Student Affairs. 

Next week’s meeting will feature Director of Hoos First Michelle Bair and will take place Tuesday at 6:30 pm in the Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room.

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