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Reserve account offers options for student orgs

April 6, 2006

Final budgets for student organizations were approved by Student Senate April 4, and some organizations will see funding cuts for the 2006-2007 academic year. Compared to last year, the Leadership Development and Programming Board had virtually the same amount of money to work with, but had a greater number of organizations requesting funding.

The segregated fees portion of student expenses is divided into 12 areas, one of which is Organized Activities. The money in this category is used to fund student organizations through the LDPB budget process. Any remaining Organized Activities funds that were not allocated to student organizations are transferred to the University Reserve account to be used as needed.

The University Reserve will total between $130,000 and $140,000 this year, said Adam Koski, Student Senate finance director.

“There is no plan to spend the monies, though about $17,000 will be used to pay the amount from last semester, since the approximately $130,000 has not yet been deposited into the University Reserve account after being collected from student allocable segregated University fees,” Koski said. “Besides the $18,000 transferred to the LDPB from the University Reserve account to go to student organizations, Senate has decided to have about $50,000 be allocated to student organizations requesting one-time purchases that will benefit the University.”

Senate chose to spend some of the reserve money on one-time funding because many student organizations saw dramatic declines in funding after the February LDPB budget process.

A motion was introduced at the April 4 Senate meeting for final one-time funding requests, and will be put to a vote at the April 11 meeting.

“The remaining $45,000 is to be held for an unforeseen emergency, and in the event one does not occur, carried over to the next academic year, with any interest earned in the account remaining there and with the students,” Koski said.

Senate has control over the reserve, and generally holds between $45,000 and $50,000 as a safety net, said Mary Halada, vice chancellor of administration and finance.

“The intent of this reserve is for student organizational purposes,” Halada said.

While student organizations typically aren’t allowed to carry over any funding to prepare for emergency situations the next academic year, Senate can keep money in the reserve indefinitely.

“It’s really a philosophical decision,” Halada said, adding that, even when held over, the reserve is still money for student organizations. “They’re looking at it from the aggregate. One could assume that they [Senate] will be there to back you up.”

Since there is so much money left in the reserve account, it’s natural to wonder why student segregated fees aren’t decreased, or why the money isn’t allocated elsewhere – like the athletic department, which is experiencing financial problems.

“It’s for emergencies and flexibility,” Halada said. “It’s good to carry a balance – we want to be able to keep student fees about the same.”