SA keeps busy during fall budget season

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

Few students know what happens to the $13.43 per credit hour charge that is known as the activity fee. How does this money get divvied up?

The Students’ Association has the responsibility of evaluating budget requests and setting preliminary allocations. The proposals then move to a university committee that reviews the budgets before sending them to President Peggy Miller for final approval.

The SA has an established budgeting philosophy that is in place in order to allocate money fairly and to serve the best interest of students, said SA Finance Chair Ryan Feist.

The SA does not fund religious or partisan organizations. Money for food is generally not allowed, and travel allocations are typically limited unless the organization has a heavy competition schedule. The SA also encourages organizations to conduct their own fundraising and minimize the portion of their budget that comes from student fee dollars.

According to Feist, the athletic and intramural programs received $1,080,000 during this school year to help support their activities. This allocation also enables SDSU students to gain admittance into SDSU home athletic events. An amount is set aside to help pay for future student union expansion. The remainder of the student activity fee money is then at then allocated by the SA to various activities and organizations.

Organization budgets typically must be submitted by late September to the SA finance chair, who then reviews the budget submissions for errors. The organizations then submit finalized copies to the finance chair for dissemination throughout the budget process.

The first action that is taken on a proposed budget is performed in one of the SA’s two finance committees. Each committee consists of five senators and is headed by Feist, who is a non-voting committee member.

The finance committee’s work is typically done during October and early November.

After approval by a finance committee, the budget is presented to the full SA Senate for approval or possible changes. The Senate’s timeline for approval is generally late October and early November.

The University Activity Fee and Budget Committee (UAFBC) reviews and approves proposed budgets after Senate authorization. The UAFBC has seven students, three faculty members and three administrators.

This committee will begin to meet in January to discuss the budget proposals that have been approved by the Senate.

After passage by UAFBC, the proposed budgets are forwarded to President Miller for final approval.

For the current school year, DSUA is the largest recipient of SA-allocated fee dollars with $610,725 being directed towards administration and $195,000 funneled toward maintenance of the University Student Union.

Other organizations with six-figure allocations are Health Services with $478,255 and the University Program Council with $109,455. Seventeen different accounts are funded by SA allocation.

Money that is not allocated during the budgeting process is set aside for possible special allocations for organizations.