SGA approved its 2017-18 budget last week, giving modest increases to dozens of organizations. SGA also increased its funding from $118,000 to $253,375, according to figures provided by Jana Lynn Patterson, dean of Student Health and Wellness.
SGA Executive Treasurer Eason Warren said this increase is partly because of several increased responsibilities, including the Zagster bike-sharing program and Elon Ball. At the same time, SGA has to put money aside for affinity class accounts and Homecoming.
Compared to the 2016-2017 academic year, 44 organizations will see an increase in funding for 2017-18, while 15 see a decrease. Twenty-three organizations will have the same amount of money as they did last year.
Warren oversees the budgetary process and serves as a liaison between SGA and other student groups. He said all organizations must first go through a 10-minute budgetary hearing. After that, SGA allocates money.
New organizations can receive up to $500. As time goes on, SGA assigns more to an organization’s budget based on how active it is on campus, how many members it has and how many students are affected by that organization. Once the budget is properly distributed, SGA monitors organizations to make sure they are using their money properly.
“We have to make sure that the organizations that are using their funds are using them properly and within the guidelines that we set out for them,” Warren said.
Senior Kyle Porro, SGA Executive President, said that while SGA wants to help as much as possible, there isn’t enough money to go around.
“SGA’s budget increases by about 5 percent each year, and a lot of these organizations come in and ask for double the amount or anything that’s more than the 5 percent we have,” Porro said. “It’s impossible because we don’t have that kind of money to give them.”
SGA, SUB and the Liberal Arts Forum remain the three highest-funded organizations on Elon’s campus. SUB will receive $136,891, and the Liberal Arts Forum will receive $58,000.
A common strategy for organizations is to request more than what is needed. Warren said he and the budget committee sort through the Treasury Manual to determine what it can and cannot fulfill. This usually accounts for a large disparity between the amount requested and amount given.
For example, only $250 can be given for airfare. This means organizations requesting a higher amount for airfare won’t be able to get it. ELONimators, an-on campus animation club, had one of the largest funding gaps and only received 17 percent of its total request.