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AFAB begins budget hearing meetings

December 5, 2013

Senators Matthew Hobbs, left, and Joe Schmit participate in a budget hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Senators Matthew Hobbs, left, and Joe Schmit participate in a budget hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 4. At a hearing, student organization leaders present their budgets to AFAB so they can take their requests into consideration. Deliberation will continue in the spring. (Desi Danforth/Student Voice)

The Allocable Fees Appropriation Board (AFAB) started budget hearings Wednesday night to determine how much money student organizations will be receiving for the next school year.

AFAB Chair Bobbi O’Brien said that about 66 student organizations have submitted budgets, and each organization needs to present its budget to AFAB in order for AFAB to determine how it will distribute funds. O’Brien said that there is $179,410.57 available for allocation to student organizations.

The funding processes for sports clubs and student media have been going through changes this semester because both groups of organizations are large operations that require a lot of funding. O’Brien said that these changes would allow more AFAB money to be distributed to other student organizations.

After Student Senate approved a motion that allows the Recreation and Sports Facilities (RSF) Committee to allocate the money set aside for sports clubs, AFAB allocated $48,000 for sports club budgets. Therefore, the RSF Committee will oversee sports club budgets instead of AFAB.

AFAB Chair Bobbi O’Brien leads a budget hearing.
AFAB Chair Bobbi O’Brien leads a budget hearing. (Desi Danforth/Student Voice)

O’Brien said that this amount allocated for sports clubs probably would have been larger if AFAB was still in charge of allocating money for sport clubs.

“Between all the sport clubs, they requested around $85,000, so I think this is going to greatly help the other student organizations because it’s opening up a whole lot more to them,” O’Brien said. “I guess maybe not so much in sense of their budgets, but especially within single-event funding.”

Single-event funding will be bumped up from 5 percent to 7 percent of AFAB money, which means that $17,116.63 will be allocated for single-event funding. Sports clubs have historically applied for a lot of single-event funding because they need funding for tournaments that they are not sure they are attending. However, O’Brien said that sports clubs would be required to estimate the amount of money required for tournaments and ask for that money in their budgets.

Also, there is a proposed change to the way student media are funded. If the Student Media Budget Process is approved for the next academic year, an allocable fee of $8 will be collected to fund student media on campus. This change is just another way to open up more funding for the smaller student organizations on campus.

Sophomore Laura Robey attended the budget hearing on behalf of Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) and said that the organization applied for a budget because it needs funding for a spring break service trip.

“Mostly, our main event is the trip, so we will be using the money from AFAB for things like renting the bus for the tour,” Robey said.

O’Brien said that student organizations should prepare for their budgets to be cut by 40 to 60 percent, but she doesn’t know the exact numbers since deliberations do not start until the beginning of spring semester. She said that AFAB would be asking hard questions because it wants to be fair as possible.

“The biggest thing we’re looking for is student inclusivity,” O’Brien said. “We’re really going to cut back on things like conferences. Our number one priority as AFAB is student involvement.”