With the same quarter that can be used to purchase a gumball, Butler University class officers were planning events for each and every Butler student.
That is, until members of the Student Government Association passed a vote Sept. 21 doubling the budget for class allocations.
The vote to move $4,000 from the more than $30,000 cushion budget to the class allocations budget passed by a large margin during SGA’s last meeting.
The class allocations budget, which comes from student activity fees paid by every full-time student at the university, alllows on average each class to have 25 cents per student in the student body, Dan Schramm, vice president of finance for SGA, said in the meeting.
The low monetary supply made it difficult for the class officers to provide events throughout the year for their respective students while maintaining enough to put on bigger events like the annual senior class wine tasting, senior class president Chris Beaman said.
Most officers do not even spend the budgets, Beaman said, which allows it to roll over to the next year.
“Our thought was we can not really do anything with $1,000 per year and also be able to leave enough to provide for the events during senior year,” Beaman said.
Schramm said the SGA budget increased nearly $20,000 from the original proposed budget.
As the executive board felt that the cushion was large enough already, this opened up new options for the money to be spent and alloted.
Though the vote clearly passed, there was some opposition from members of the assembly as to whether the $4,000 should be given to the class officers of each grade.
Alliance representative Taylor Meador said she did not see a point in moving more money to the fund if the money already allocated is not utilized and spent on projects.
“If that money has not been spent already, why would you need more?” she said.
Beaman said the increase in money would allow for more flexibility within the class allocation budget and relieve the pressure of needing to save that money for senior year events.
“I got a little bit of pushback when I first brought this up,” he said. “In my opinion, people are not always seeing the money because class officers are leery of spending it and afraid they do not have enough money for the entire class.”
Beaman also said he found that seeing where every aspect of the SGA budget goes is interesting because to truly see where every cent was being spent, it would take over a year’s worth of assemblies.
Schramm said he was not sure if this would be a standard addition to the SGA budget, but thought it would be a debated topic during the new budget process.
“In the spring when exec makes the new budget, I guess it will be up to assembly whether the money will stay for next year or whether they don’t think that was an appropriate use of the student activity fee,” he said.
Beaman said his ultimate goal is to see a class bond over a yearly event put on by the class officers, similar to the senior wine tasting.
“My biggest thing is I want classes to establish a tradition,” she said. “I want every class to establish something that they see as a tradition that they do every single year,” he said.
“I think allowing that extra $1,000 will allow for that.”
Beaman said he feels it is extremely important to maintain the closeness of the class, and the best way to do that is by continuing to hold events that allow class members to interact with one another and unite for a common goal.
“In a sense, I think that class officers should have more flexibility and more availability to plan specific events that would be the caliber of a program board event,” Beaman said.
“I think things like [class traditions] are not only helping to unify classes, but they are also helping to unify campus.”