Binghamton University’s Student Association Financial Council (FinCo) has finished determining its allocation of funding for student groups for next academic year. The groups’ budgets still must be approved by the full SA Assembly, which will debate and vote on the allocations at its next meeting on Monday night in the Old University Union’s Mandela Room.
According to records from the SA Vice President for Finance’s office, many groups’ budgets will either remain the same or increase or decrease by small increments compared to last year. A handful, however, saw much larger slashes or additions.
The budget for Club Sports decreased by the greatest amount — by $20,000 — from $128,000 down to $108,000.
Adam Shamah, vice president for finance, said that Club Sports’ budget was reverting to previous levels because clubs would no longer need to rent off-campus facilities for practice when the East Gym reopens next year.
“Last year’s Financial Council also gave them an increase with the hope that club sports would start chartering new groups. But now they don’t think they’ll be able to recruit any new groups for a year or two,” Shamah said.
The next largest decreases were seen by Escape, which lost its entire $10,000 budget; Binghamton TV (BTV), which was cut $10,000 from $15,000 down to $5,000; Music Organization, which lost its entire $7,500 budget; Rainbow Pride Union (RPU), which was cut $3,400 from $10,000 down to $6,600; Han Perspective, which lost $1,000; and Student Environment Awareness Club (SEAC), which lost its entire $1,000 budget.
Shamah said that Escape, the student-run bus company, no longer required SA funding because the company had become self-sustaining. RPU’s budget was returned to its previous levels after the SA gave it a larger allocation last year to fund the group’s hosting of the Northeast Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Conference this spring, a non-regular occurrence.
Right Side of History, SUNY-CHOW, Democracy Matters, Tomorrow’s Hope in North Korea (THINK), Korean Undergraduate Student Association, Karaoke Club, Club of Asian Movie Entertainment, (CAME) and BioChemistry Advisory Board (USABAB) were among other groups who lost all of their funding, though none received more than $400 originally.
Groups that were awarded more money for next year include Students in Free Enterprise and Leadership Training, both of which were given $1,000 more; Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, which was given $550 more; and Haitian Student Union, Ballroom Dance and Binghamton Bhangra, all of which were given $500 more.
The money that FinCo hands out to student groups is raised through the student activity fee, a charge of $92.50 that undergraduate students are required to pay each semester. FinCo plans to hand out $704,870 in total to student groups next year as of press time.
The Assembly’s budget meeting, which takes place in the spring each year, has often in the past turned into an all-night marathon session. Last year’s meeting took more than 11 hours and ended past 6 a.m.
According to Shamah, Assembly representatives will be required to submit their proposed changes to the Assembly’s Speaker prior to the meeting this year.
“We hope that will cut down on time and make the meeting a little bit more efficient, but it will be a long meeting, for sure,” Shamah said.