SGA began school year with $3 million budget

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Florida A&M University’s Student Government Association is at the forefront of student-led organizations on “The Hill.”

For years, SGA has granted countless memberships to students ranging from their first year on campus all the way to graduate students.

This organization is more than just senators and studentbody presidents, however. Many other positions are made available to further ensure the stability of SGA as a whole, including the electoral and judicial branches of SGA.

What may be news to many is that SGA, while providing funding for countless student organizations, actually has an annual salary that is budgeted and distributed among its members and allocated to the various branches and organizations within SGA.

Director of the Efferson Student Union, Andre Green, provided a breakdown of the budget and said, “I believe this should be common knowledge for those who wish to gain this information.”

This past school year SGA had $3 million to distribute among various campus organizations and programs such as the Marching 100,  FAMU radio station WANM-FM 90.5, Homecoming, the Royal Court and even FAMU’s spirit squad.

Joshua Clements, who serves as vice chairman for the Organization & Finance Committee, provided an in-depth look at how the annual fiscal budget was allocated for the year.

Student government gets a portion to delegate between the different branches of the Senate per position,Clements said. “From the advisers and regular OPS salary workers, there is money spread among each position based on rank within the organization. I personally get paid 9 dollars an hour.”

Clements said that COVID-19 has played a “vital role” in how SGA has conducted meetings and business this year, but the pandemic hasn’t impacted the budget.

“Overall, student government has still been able to have a successful year, even while transitioning to ‘Zoom University,’” Clementssaid. “I’m excited to see what life looks like in the fall with the vaccines being distributed and the big power moves that the university and SGA are making.”

Junior Senator, Ahmad Kebe, says that SGA is “very fortunate” to not have had to make a change in its pay. Kebe is required to work eight hours on a biweekly pay schedule in order to fulfill his position’s duty.

Kebe said that the pay for senators varies depending on whether they hold the position of chair, vice chair or just a general senator.

The breakdown of SGA salaries shows the importance of organization funding and making sure that the university is in the best financial shape possible.

The Student Government Association takes pride in its actions and assures each member’s significance to the organization. A lot of what happens at FAMU outside the classroom is a direct result of funding decisions made by SGA.

“Student leadership is important at FAMU,” Kebe said. “Majority of those who are not affiliated aren’t aware of what goes on behind the scenes.

“We just gain the satisfaction knowing that we’ve made a significant impact on our student body and only hope to continue on that high road,” Kebe added.