SGA budgets for next year

The remaining portion of the Butler University Student Government Association’s 2012-13 budget will most likely be approved today at assembly, said Dan Schramm, vice president of finance.  SGA approved almost half of its budget at the last meeting.

“Only some of the smaller boards remain,” Schramm said. “If it isn’t approved this week, it will be the week after.”

It is the first time the next year’s budget has been approved by the previous year’s administration.

The new system is designed to give boards more time to schedule events, since they will now know over the summer how much money they have, said Schramm.

The new budgeting system will most benefit Program Board, said Council on Presidential Affairs Chair Mike Tirman.

Program Board makes up more than 54 percent – the largest part of the $655,000 budget.

Derek Friederich, next year’s vice president of finance, said one of the main things he is focused on improving next year is utilizing R.E.A.C.H. grants more effectively.

“R.E.A.C.H. programming on this campus has potential,” Friederich said. “Next year we need to focus on publicizing more awareness.”

Tirman introduced a new line item under the CPA’s expenses, which is designed to make the campus more “green” through advertisement, and programs like Recylemania.

“One of my hopes last year was that I wanted to expand CPA’s role in sustainability,” Tirman said. “I think we were successful this year, and this new line item will help us improve even more.”

Most of CPA’s $13,000 budget this year was used for green programs, Tirman said.

CPA brought the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment contract to President Jim Danko this year, which puts Butler on a path toward sustainability and carbon neutrality, Tirman said.

The new system of budgeting has pros and cons, SGA President-elect Mike Keller said.

Friederich said one of the main advantages of the budgeting system is the communication between the old and new executives.

“I like the new system because you get the old executives’ knowledge, combined with the new executives’ ideas,” Friederich said.

Keller said one of the disadvantages of the new system is that new executive board members are not familiar with SGA and therefore may have difficulty budgeting.

Schramm also said it is difficult not knowing the definite dollar amount while budgeting, whereas in the past the university could provide SGA with a better number.

“We have to go off a $655,000 assumption, which is a safe number,” Schramm said.

Keller said as president he plans to tweak the budgeting system.

“It needs to be late enough for new executive members to become more acclimated and talk to the right people,” Keller said. “It is a step in the right direction though.”

SGA assembly approves the budget in chunks by a simple majority after executive members have a meeting to discuss the budget, Keller said.

Prior to voting, the assembly goes over the budget line by line and has a discussion about it, Keller said.

The budget can be amended at any point during the year by a simple majority, Keller said, but Schramm said budget amendments are rare.

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