Veishea tops budget needs in GSB fund allocations

Rebecca Carton

The Government of the Student Body’s regular allocations process is budgeted to dole out approximately $1.3 million collected from this year.

Needless to say, the GSB finance committee has a lot on its plate.

Budgets from student organizations requesting funding from regular allocations have requested $205,615.09 more than the $1.3 million GSB available. These requests make for a complex equation that will ultimately result in some organizations’ budgets being cut.

GSB Finance Director Ryan Myers, graduate student in accounting, said that, for the most part, the budgets he has seen so far haven’t created much controversy.

“Everybody’s asking for more,” he said. “Veishea’s asking for a significant increase.”

Currently, the Veishea committee has the largest budget request. This year, Veishea is asking for $84,658.65 from regular allocations to be put toward expenses for next year’s Veishea. During the previous regular allocations cycle, only $71,709.70 was requested from the available $1.22 million. The committee received just $15,092.

Jason Owen, Veishea assistant business manager and senior in finance, said there was no specific reason that the budget was so high.

“Obviously, our costs go up each year, but really we just need to ask for more money,” he said. “We know that we’re not going to get everything we ask for. Essentially, we’re really not asking that much more than last year.”

Taleen Brady, Senate representative on the finance committee and senior in psychology, said it is typical for organizations to have high budget requests that get cut as the allocation process unfolds.

“Most groups end up requesting more money than they need,” she said. “With a lot of groups, it kind of reveals itself what they want.”

Tom Danielson, vice-chairman of the finance committee and senior in civil engineering, said that because Veishea’s current request is so high, it will be interesting to see how much they are awarded in the end.

“Veishea is over $80,000. Last year, they got cut a lot of money, around 75 percent, so I don’t know if the committee will take the same position on their budget [this year],” he said.

Besides Veishea’s initial budget, which will probably be cut after the committee’s allocation hearing next week, Myers said most organizations are asking for the usual 5- to 10-percent increase in funding. However, approximately 20 new groups are also asking for funding, which could cause some debate.

“Most of the controversy is going to lean on whether a group is eligible at all. Is the budget itself acceptable?” Myers said.

The GSB finance committee has specific criteria for funding student organizations’ requests. Myers said the most problematic rules are that membership must be open to all students and the group has to have existed for at least a year.

Myers said he does not foresee a problem with either of those conditions this year.

“[There are] a whole lot of new groups asking, but the groups that are asking for money are really pretty comparable to last year,” he said.

Regular allocation hearings for student organizations began on Feb. 21 and will continue through March 8.

On March 10, the finance committee will meet in a budget-balancing session to see where they can cut costs in budgets to decrease requests to the allotted $1.3 million. Myers said that session is where the finance committee really takes a look at what budget items are necessary.

“We have to get a little creative after that,” he said.

The regular allocations bill will be first read during the GSB Senate meeting on March 12. The bill will then be resolved during senate the following meeting on March 26.