Elise Gregg / Assistant News Director
SGA rejected the Budget Committee’s decision for the 2022-23 Activity and Service Fees Allocation / Elise Gregg
Three days of budget deliberations in February have been upended as the Senate unanimously rejected the distribution of funds during Monday’s meeting.
The main issues cited by senators were the low funding given to the Graduate Professional and Student Committee and the Senate, all while Homecoming and the Student Programming Council both received significant funding.
GPSC was allocated $129,050, while the Legislative Branch received $20,000.
“We should vote no on the budget today, if for no other reason, then the Senate line out and be funded only $20,000,” SIPA senator Alexander Sutton said. “I know that 20,000 is not enough to pay for the things that the Senate paid for this year, plus a lot of the ideas that me and my fellow senators have for next year.”
Sutton said they could easily allocate $35,000 to the legislative branch by pulling from other SGA line items.
GPSC originally requested $300,000, receiving less than half of the request.
“I am disappointed quite frankly,” said graduate senator Joshua Mandall. “Especially when we have groups that are being double funded.”
Homecoming was allocated $470,000, while the Student Programming Council received $590,000. However, the two were double funded with money from a one-time allocation from the 2022-23 financial year fund balance.
Homecoming received $73,009 from the same fund, while SPC got $175,866. The total combined budgets place the two organizations well over one million dollars.
SGA President Alexander Rubido said that the budget committee has to allocate money to keep up with expenses for FIU’s 50th anniversary.
“Next year is the 50th anniversary of FIU,” said comptroller Giacomo Natteri. “There needs to be different organizations on campus, and they need to have the money to be able to throw events, to do different programming, increase affinity, all that stuff.”
With the anniversary in mind, SGA decided to enact these one-time allocations along with allocating money from the activity and service fee, which is sourced from student fees.
Rubido discussed with senators which organizations they should cut from to increase funding for GPSC and the Legislative Branch.
Although no resolution was ultimately decided, senators tentatively suggested cutting certain clubs, organizations, and programming.
The budget committee will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday in the SGA office and via webcast to discuss and solidify these changes.
“The budget needs to be finalized on the desk of Dr. Bejar at the end of March. so time is of the essence of this,” said Rubido. “If the student government can’t decide on a budget by the deadline, it’ll be up to the discretion of Dr. Bejar to make the budget.”