The current state of the budget for Activities and Service organizations, including the Student Government Association, has been up in the air for some time now.
But during Monday night’s senate meeting, SGA Adviser Dwayne Cole and SGA President Ramon Alexander answered various pertinent questions.
The senators’ biggest concern was whether there is a deficit in SGA funds, and if so, how it will be handled.
Senate President Keon Hardemon revealed that the Executive Branch is close to being in a deficit of $6,000.
Alexander, 21, a senior political science student from Tallahassee, said the executive branch deficit is not the fault of SGA. But he said he will take every step necessary to make sure that a similar issue do not reoccur next year.
Alexander said the senate and SGA were operating under the assumption that they had a $3.6 million dollar budget, but the figures are actually closer to $2.7 million.
Hardemon, 22, a senior business administration student from Miami, agreed, saying, “there might have been some miscalculations when putting together the OPS budgets.”
Last year, budget officials calculated the budget according to how many students were enrolled. But they were supposed to look at the number of credit hours to correctly project the budget.
Sen. Yvette Wilmoth, 21, a fourth-year business administration student, proposed to review the spending of all the A&S organizations and anything spending under SGA’s control.
“We found issues with the projection model, but they have been fixed, we can now see if a trend is going up or down so we can predict how much money that each agency will receive from the budget,” Cole said.
“We are confident about where we are going from here because of the system that we have put in place.” Alexander said this set back just, “marks a new era for SGA, for we will now be able to transparently see how much money is available to accurately allocate our funds.”
He is excited because leaders are always put into difficult situations, but how they react in the midst of the fire determines how great of a leader they are, he said.
Alexander said he, SGA Vice President Phillip Agnew, and the Senate are diligently working to make sure that future leaders do not run into the same problems this administration was faced with.
Cole said the situation reminded him of something Interim President Castell V. Bryant told him when he was appointed to his position.
Bryant said she “would like to see the University to provide SGA with teachable moments.” And Cole called SGA’s current situation a teachable moment.
Cole believes this ordeal is preparing the SGA members
for the real world, saying these issues of deficits, setbacks and budget cuts are all things that they will face in the future. “We see debate and haggling about how to deal with this, but it is a teachable moment,” Cole said. “Now they will not be blind-sighted when they get into the real world and face similar issues.”
“It is wonderful to see them deal with this because it has an immediate impact on A&S and programming,” Cole stated toward the end of his time at the meeting.
Contact Courtney Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org