SG Senate Awards Nearly $28M in A&S Fees for Fiscal Year 2022-23 – The Oracle

In a discussion lasting over two hours, chaired by Student Union Vice President Jillian Wilson, the Student Government Senate approved the Campus Allocation Funding Committee’s 2022-23 Activities and Services Budget. ORACLE PHOTO/ALEXANDRA URBAN

The Campus Allocation Funding Committee (CAFC) predicted a tighter activities and services (A&S) budget for fiscal year 2022-23, but only the Tampa campus will experience a decrease in allocation overall invoice.

A&S Fee Recommendation Committee Chair and Student Union Vice President Jillian Wilson presented the budget proposal to the Student Government (SG) Senate on Tuesday, with over 45 minutes of discussion and questions on the Tampa portion of the bill. The budgets of the other campuses each received less than five minutes of discussion.

Although the law passed unanimously by the senators, it will not be formally set in stone until it is signed into law by President Rhea Law. It will then be set up from July 1st.

For 2022-23, the Tampa campus will have just under $18 million compared to the $18.6 million from 2021-22. While this decreases by only 3.2%, the other campuses will each see increases in their budget allocations of 15% or more.

A 33.9% increase over last semester was approved for the St. Pete campus. Last year the campus had a total allocation of $3.1 million and the upcoming term will bring in approximately $4.2 million.

Sarasota Manatee will receive a 15.3% increase from just over $5 million to $5.8 million. The total allocation across all sites is nearly $28 million.

The A&S budget is funded by students through fees on their student bills. University-wide, students pay a flat A&S fee of $7 each semester, but the amount per credit hour varies by campus, which is only approved by the Board of Governors (BOG).

Tampa campus students paid $12.08 in A&S fees per credit hour in 2021-22, St. Pete $26.88 and Sarasota-Manatee $25.54 according to the 2021-22 BOG fee plan.

Only departments that provide or support student activities, programs and services receive funding from A&S.

Student programs and services make up the bulk of Tampa and St. Pete’s budgets. The budget of each A&S-funded student success department falls under this category.

In Tampa, programs and services make up 72.5%, or about $13 million. That’s about $5 million less than last year’s allocation. St. Pete’s accounts for 66.2% of its total budget, or $2.8 million, which is about the same amount as last year.

Only 12.9% or $744,157 of the Sarasota-Manatee campus budget is allocated Student Programs and Services. This is an 11.4% increase over the 2021-22 term.

The rest of the budget is divided between the SG operations, the student unions and the interim and reserve accounts where the emergency money is stored.

Tampa’s SG will receive approximately $2.5 million, student organizations will receive a total of $1.6 million, and $801,733 will be saved in reserves. Those numbers are about the same as last year, except for the reserves, which were $980,986.

Reserves make up the majority of Sarasota-Manatee’s budget at approximately 79% or $4.6 million. According to Wilson, the university is considering using the $4.2 million from unrestricted reserves to add a new building on its campus.

St. Pete’s reserves account for approximately 30% of the total budget. About $1.3 million is stored on campus.

Tampas is so low compared to the other campuses because a lot had to be used early in the pandemic to offset lost revenue in some departments, according to CAFC Chairman Nithin Palyam. In 2020-21, the Tampa campus had set aside over $2.2 million.

All Tampa budget categories saw drops, big and small. However, student programs and services were hardest hit, with most departments having to receive cuts.

That The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) will receive the largest cut in funding of any A&S funded department. There will be a 25% decrease from the 2021-22 budget from $937,318 to $703,015. That’s $213,641 or 23% less than requested.

Palyam said OMA added several coordinators and other staffing services positions over the past year that it cannot afford in its base budget. However, there was room in unrestricted reserves to fund them with one-year contracts, which is why CAFC was able to allocate so much last year. In 2020-21, OMA had a budget of $537,283.

OMA had to request them as new initiatives, but since that flexibility no longer exists, he said CAFC couldn’t approve them.

Recreation and Wellness, the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), and the Marshall Student Center are the other departments receiving cuts. However, none will cut more than 2.6% of their budget.

Of the group, CSI saw the second-biggest decline after OMA. However, it is only 2.6%. The department was allocated just under $2 million, $62,328 less than requested.

Rec and Well was the only other division to see a decline of more than 2%. It will receive $3.7 million, 2.4% less than last year and 5.7% less than requested.

The remaining departments, including the Office of Veterans Success, New Student Connections, and Student Accessibility Services, saw increases of 3.3%, 3.7%, and 3.7%, respectively.

Budget increases could have accommodated annual increases in the minimum wage, Wilson said. Student publications, however, were the exception. It called for the funding of fringe benefits for directors, as these had not previously been included in the budget. This resulted in an increase of 7.2%.

The St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee departments either did not see major changes in their budgets or received increases. However, the Office of Student Support Services in Sarasota-Manatee was down 82%, falling from $66,240 to $11,925. However, this was only about 22% less than required.

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