The 46th Student Senate of the Florida A&M University Student Government Association has announced that it will not entertain allocations for student organizations for the fall 1016 semester.
The announcement, issued via memorandum Oct. 12, was made by Senate Organization and Finance Chairperson Simone Nisbett, a fourth-year business administration student from Pensacola, Fla.
“As of right now the estimated amount of Carry-Forward is about $293,000,” Nisbett said. “Due to the FAMU Board of Trustees Policy 2005-005, we are unable to obtain the estimated Carry-Forward amount until the board votes on this budget increase during the December 1, 2016 meeting. Thus, special allocations for this Fall 2016 semester have been declared suspended.”
Carry-forward is the amount of funds that remain unallocated, or unexpended, at the end of a fiscal year. FAMU’s fiscal year ends each year on June 30.
The funds are required by State of Florida Statues to be given back to the Student Government Association. The Student Senate then has the authority to allocate these funds to various clubs, organizations and departments to carry out programs and initiatives for the good of the student body.
Carry-Forward is usually given to SGA around October or November of each year, according to the budget amendment requests of the past two fiscal years. However, FAMU BOT regulation 2005-005 states that the board must approve these funds as an amendment to the university budget if they are over $100,000.
Since 2012, amendments are not approved until the last BOT meeting of each fall semester, but Carry-Forward budget amounts have been deposited into SGA accounts before BOT approved them.
The University Budget Office declined to comment on why the rule is being enforced this year.
Student Body President and BOT member Jaylen Smith attempted to call an emergency BOT meeting to approve the Carry-Forward amount.
“It’s really holding the student body back because a lot of (organizations) depend on Carry-Forward for funding for their fall events,” Smith said. “Even if they don’t want a full meeting, perhaps we can have a phone call vote.”
Smith’s request to BOT Chairman Kelvin Lawson was not granted.
Student organizations have indeed been effected by the BOT regulation. Marcus Stallworth, third-year pre-physical therapy student from Tampa, Fla., serves as the 1st vice president of Progressive Black Men Inc., a community service organization on campus.
“We were planning on the senate helping us with funding for our annual service trip in December,” Stallworth said. “With funding not being available, we are going to have to cancel the trip because we can’t pay our share.”
The FAMU Chapter was planning the trip along with five other PBM chapters across the state to travel to Louisiana to assist recent flood victims.
Brandon Johnson, president of the 46th Student Senate, said he is doing everything possible to get allocations back on track.
“The 46th student senate is working diligently to resolve the current state of our financial situation. In the meantime we are trying to assist organizations to find alternative sources of funds for the semester,” Johnson said.
The Budget and Finance Committee, which is responsible for recommending budget amendments to the board, will meet via conference call Nov. 7 at 4:00 p.m. The next Board of Trustees meeting will take place in Orlando, Fla. at the FAMU College of Law Nov. 18 at 8:30 a.m. For more information about the Board of Trustees meetings visit www.famu.edu/bot.