by Sarah Willson
The Student Government Association at Central Connecticut State University provided base budgets of approximately $100,000 more than originally planned for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.
The supplemented money brought the SGA total base budget allocation for both years to $450,000, according to SGA Treasurer Christopher Cappiello.
“Last year we gave out way too much money, close to one-hundred thousand more than we should have,” Cappiello said during the Nov. 8 SGA weekly meeting.
Cappiello said that the increase in budget was “done at the time because the SGA was receiving in the neighborhood of $900,000 for budget requests.”
According to Cappiello, it was suggested by Dr. Laura Tordenti, the previous Vice President of Student Affairs, that the then-SGA Treasurer, Brendan Kruh, raised the Student Activity Fee due to the fact that the SGA was running short on funds and “heavily relying” on reserves in order to fund clubs and other various expenses.
The increase in budget was approved by both President Dr. Zulma Toro and the Board of Regents.
“Last year we raised the Student Activity Fee in order to allow us more flexible spending,” Cappiello said. “The raise also helped out the other organizations that receive a portion of the Student Activities Fee.”
“That raised the money available for base budgets up to approximately $569,000,” Cappiello continued. “Last year when we did base budgets for this year, it was decided upon to take another $100,000 out of our reserve account as we did the past two fiscal years, which brought the total allocation for this past year to about $669,000.”
Despite this, it was realized by senate members that there was “not as a big of a rollover” regarding the reserve account as compared to previous years.
For the 2016-17 school year, Cappiello stated that the SGA started the year “with about $454,000 in reserves.” However, as for the 2017-18 school year, only $262,000 in funds were available.
“The decline in the reserves will not affect us this year,” Cappiello said. “However, when base budgets are done in this spring for [the] next fiscal year, we will not be supplementing the base budget account.”
Senator James Long, best known as Akai, told The Recorder that he supported the decision made by the SGA to increase base budgets for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 year.
“I think that funding clubs is our main priority… it should be our main priority,” Long said. “I think now that we experimented with the budget we need to think long-term [about] how we implement it for the future.”
“I know personally that [the] SGA has a lot of funding procedures, where even with an increased budget a lot of clubs still aren’t seeing that money,” Long continued. “A better job needs to be done on dividing the money up more fairly… A conversation needs to happen with the Senate members.”
When asked by The Recorder to comment on the budget increase, Kruh said he agreed with all of the statements provided by Cappiello.