Students organizations take 9 percent funding cut

The Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) meeting on April 1 revealed that student organizations will receive an average 9 percent funding cut across the board for the 2016-2017 school year.

Darryl Holloman, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, who presided over the meeting, said the funding cuts are due to a lack of student fee increases.

“The cuts were all about 9 percent,” Holloman said. “In the last 8 years we haven’t had a fee increase so we’ve pretty much had the same amount of money. At the same time, we have more student organizations registering for funds which affects the total amount we can give.”

According to SAFC member Beth Jones, more groups applied for funding this year, but the decision to increase student activity fees is determined entirely by the University System of Georgia’s (USG) Board of Regents (BOR).

“The Chancellor for this year is working to make college more affordable and is opposed to fee increases,” Jones said.

Georgia State’s Art Fee Council which oversees student fees for organizations within the school of music, art and design and communication, received a $27,054 reduction in the budget for the upcoming school year. Todd Studebaker, Chair of the Arts Fee Council, questioned the funding cuts correlation to student enrollment.

“All areas of the art fee council got cut funding and I’m confused since enrollments are up,” Studebaker said.

Holloman said funding is determined by a head count, which is an estimate of how many students will enroll and take classes during the upcoming semester.

“We have to base our budget on head counts, and headcount budgets on this year are much less than they were in previous years,” Holloman said. “Even though enrollment may be up, not all of the students may register for enough credit hours or may not attend that particular semester.”

A student who is enrolled at Georgia State, but is not registered for classes, does not pay a student activity fee.

The majority of organizations were allocated less than half of the funds they requested, including the Student Bar Association and the College of Arts and Sciences, which houses 66 different organizations, were allocated $33,608 and $99,449 less than requested, respectively.

The Diversity Fee Council, which organizes clubs like Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity and Muslim Students Association received $162,894 less than requested.

Each organization will have to decide internally what cuts will be made to work within the new budget the SAFC allocated them.

Student Media made $52,868 worth of cuts for the 2016-2017 school year. These changes include the removal of student paid positions, travel budget reduction and reallocation of salaries.

“Once they get their sum of funds, the organization makes the decision for how they will work within the budget,” Holloman said.

The International Students Association Council (ISAC) plans to cut funding in either campus programming or off-campus travel and leadership development.

An email from Associate Dean for Student Affairs College of Law, Kelly Timmons, urged Holloman to increase funding allocations for the College of Law community.

“The funding these students receive is never enough to cover all of their expenses,” the email said.

Student Affairs Accountant Latisha Barnes put it simply.

“It’s been a rough year,” she said. “No one’s happy.”

Holloman said the SAFC has always encouraged fundraising if an organization needs more money throughout the school year.


1 Comment

  1. If the SAFC would insist that the University compensate them for the $1 million transmitter given to WRAS as a STUDENT organization and instead is being used 50% of the day by Georgia Public Radio to illegally fundraise then student organizations would likely not be in the situation they are in with cuts.

    This was an outright theft of student fee money…all the administrators knew what was occurring with the “Becker-GPB deal” while they were asking the students to unwittingly fund the transmitter. GPB pays not one penny in compensation back to the students.

    The student government reps and other organizations did nothing, the student managers at WRAS did nothing…now the chickens come home to roost.

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