Flipping through countless budget proposals in an attempt to ensure the most effective use of FAMU students’ money, the SGA budget committee began the first of its three eight-hour budget hearings Saturday morning.
“The goal of these hearings are to effectively allocate the money to the organizations that are actually in need of it,” said Chiquita Woolfolk, the chair of the SGA budget committee.
“The process thus far has been going well,” said Michael Morton, a freshman senator and member of the 2002 SGA budget committee.
“This ensures that the money is being used to the benefit of the student body.”
“Everything is running pretty smooth so far,” added Levy Anthony, a graduate senator and member of the budget committee.
“Most of the organizations have had their applications properly completed.”
Advisors and organization leaders must complete an application projecting their new requests for the next fiscal year.
The organizations go through an internal process of revising their past budgets in order to form a newer, more accurate estimate of the funds needed for the upcoming year.
Then the advisors and representatives propose their new figures to the budget committee in hopes of receiving their requested amount when the final budget is initialized.
“Everybody wants more money than we can give,” Woolfolk said. “There just isn’t enough money to go around.
“The organizations that are doing the most for the students as a whole, should receive the money,” added Anthony. “The ones that aren’t, may need a budget cut….sort of like a wake-up call.”
“There are still a few advisors and representatives that didn’t have an extensive amount of information about their budget and proposal,”
Morton remarked. “They need to be well apt to their own budget process.”
Various organizations ranging from The Strikers to WANM-FM Radio to New Beginnings Child Development Center are going before the committee with their own ideas and budget proposals.
Each organization is given two minutes to introduce itself and its proposal. Then, the representative or advisor is subjected to an extensive questioning session under the discretion of the budget committee.
Each hearing usually lasts less than 30 minutes. This process repeats itself over and over again from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
“Sure the 9 to 5 takes away from my weekend, but it’s for a good cause,” Anthony remarked.
“It is strenuous, but its got to be done, somebody’s got to do this,” Woolfolk commented.
Presidential ambassador and budget committee member Melissa Mitchell said that the time really isn’t a big factor.
“Actually, it is going a lot faster than I expected,” Mitchell said.
Many of the budget committee members agreed that there are some difficulties with the process.
“It’s difficult being objective,” Mitchell said. “I love kids but I just can’t give them (New Beginnings Child Development Center) all themoney just because I love kids.”
“You’re dealing with different personalities inside and outside of the committee, juggling the schedules of approximately 15-20 members, while at the same time being accommodating and professional at all times,” Woolfolk commented about her leadership role on the budget committee.
All of these factors will be put to the test again Saturday and March 2.
The Saturday budget hearings are open to the public from 9 a.m. -5 p.m. and will give the rest of the organizations the opportunity to request funding from the $3.2 million budget.
“This is where everything begins and ends,” Woolfolk said. “I just want to invite people to come out and listen to the budget hearings.”