Student Allocations Committee presents budget recommendations

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Student Allocations Committee (SAC) presented funding recommendations for student-fee-funded programs to the Student Government Wednesday. 

Last year SAC’s budget was $2,738,462. Student program requests totaled $2,749,505, with a .4% increase. The final recommendation from SAC was $2,697,043, which is a 1.51% decrease from last year. 

The committee, composed of six members (three of whom are senators), have worked for two months hearing budget requests from fee-funded programs, asking questions, and deliberating. 

The committee has been headed up by co-chairs Zachary Wickman and Ogenheneochuko Regha with the intention of supporting departments, keeping the student fee low, and cutting unnecessary spending caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The process of the budget season starts with each department going through their own individual budgets and analyzing what sort of funding they will request from the University. 

Then, after budget requests are given, SAC meets with each department to hear their needs and analyze the request. The committee then presents its recommendation to the Student Government, which is what occurred Wednesday night. 

During the meeting, co-chair Wickman presented along with Sen. Catherine Nelson, breaking down what each department received last year, their request for this year, and what the committee recommends is allocated in the budget. 

Several departments such as Maverick Adventures, Gender and Sexuality Programs, Student Activities Administration Office, Student Government, and Theater, had their request match the recommendation. 

Other organizations received less welcomed news of decreases from their requests. 

The Campus Recreation Equipment Repair and Replacement Fund, which is added to every year to allow for the department to save up for big repairs or new equipment that is needed, saw their request of $20,000 cut in half. The rationale being the equipment usage from last year has decreased. 

Another notable decrease was on The Reporter’s budget request. The newspaper’s request was $114,910, while SAC’s recommendation was $95,000. The narrative given by the committee referred to an increase from previous year’s budget cuts, as well as the importance of expanding to new methods of media delivery. 

The Student Events Team saw a $5,220 decrease from its request of $115,220. This was largely due to the apparent likelihood of the pandemic’s continued effect on large scale events for students on campus. 

The next step in the process is for each program to review the recommendation given by the committee, and decide whether or not to appeal the recommendation.

In the event of an appeal, or if the senate has any further concerns, the program in question would present their case at an upcoming Student Government during the budget hearing on March 24.

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