StuGov denies Student Engagement funding as tight budget is prioritized


By Katherine Kealey/Iowa State Daily

Student Government Finance Director Mason Zastrow is a senior majoring in political science.

Nicole Clark

Student Government voted against increased funding for Student Engagement due to expected budget restraints for the coming fiscal years.


Kevin Merrill and Tim Reuter from Student Engagement requested to raise funding for Student Engagement in hopes to move from an annual allocation process to a contract. After the debate, the Senate reached a vote of 8-16-0 the bill failed. 


The Senate was able to look at the current budgeting issues within the governing body and use that information in their reasoning behind failing the bill. The problem includes the fee reserve being drained yearly. It is an effect of the past three years over projections of their income. Finance Director Mason Zastrow, a senior in majoring in political science, presented a couple ideas of how he is working to get back on track. 


This proposal supplements around $300,000 from social projects. This does not change the annual expenditure. Zastrow’s presentation went in depth on current contracts and debt contracts, giving the Senate a run down on current and past contracts. Also included in the presentation were examples of the money spent on each student organization and which clubs had issues paying dues in the past. 


Currently the Senate has six upholding contracts with student organizations including: Student Legal Services, Iowa State Daily, Student Counseling Services, Student Union Board, Multicultural Liaison Office and the Committee on Lectures. These contracts range from 3 to 5 years and pay is extending to them from $20,000 to $340,000. 


Zastrow even was able to touch on future bills including the ASSET contracts, Annual allocations and the Big Picture bill. 


Gathering Everyone Nearby to Raucously Entertain (GENRE), a student organization for musicians, came in front of the senate today in hopes of getting the $775 debt they owed added into the Student Organization Debt Reserve Account from the Special Projects Account. After discussion the club treasure was able to explain the debt and show ways they are working to raise money. The bill was passed with a vote of 25-0-0. 


A new member of the Senate was elected to represent Fredriksons court. Andrew Brueck, a junior majoring in political science. With an unanimous vote, the bill was passed and he swore his oath into the Senate. 


The final bill passed at the meeting was to supplement the account allocations for next fiscal year. Student Government budgets in recent years have significantly over calculated the income. This miscalculation has been annually draining the Student Activity Fee Reserve Account, resulting in no account which can be reliably used as an internal reserve that can grow over time. The bill states that up to $300,000 from the Special Projects Account be allocated toward the Account Allocations for Next Fiscal Year Bill for fiscal year 2023.


In next week’s meeting, three new bills will be introduced, including: Ratifying the Fiscal Year 2023 ASSET contracts, Approving the ASSET recommendations and finally Tasking Public Relations Committee with Developing outreach Reforms. 


The Iowa State Student Government meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Campanile room at the Memorial Union.