SGA explains funding process

A total of 41 student organizations have requested funding from the Student Government Association of Florida A&M University.

One of the most controversial fund allocations this year was to the ‘The Marching 100,’ which originally only received a $30,000 budget for the student senate.

Julian White, the band director immediately refuted this allocation and requested more funds.

“I was definite[ly] under the realization that the band is really an important institution at

this university and there was no way that they could function at the capacity that they usually do with an allocation of that [amount],” said Mellori Lumpkin, 36th Student Senate president.

After review of past and current financial records, the senate voted to increase the bands funds in order to ensure that the department will be able to function without major financial issues.

With the new financial revisions, the band will receive a total of around $96,000 for the 2007-2008 school year.

According to this year’s SGA Activities and Service budget, the band receives $50,000 for meals served during pre-drill operations; $20,000 is for repairs and maintenance; $10,000 is for the cleaning and alterations of uniforms; $6,000 is for band field drill markings; $5,000 is for administrative expenses and the other $5,000 will go towards office supplies.

“I was very grateful that the decision was made to increase the funds for band activities and expenses,” White said.

He said he would like for the band’s operational budget to be around $400,000 in order to secure finances for all the various activities that the band participates in. However, he knows that amount of money is not realistic this year.

The band’s 2007-2008 budget does mirror allocations from previous years. However, it is lower than it has been in years.

The band is one of the most recognizable organizations on campus for students.

“The band was the first thing about FAMU that attracted me here,” said Latrease Grey, a 22-year-old band member from Detroit.

SGA officials said it is important for funds to be appropriately distributed to organizations that students are consistently involved in and those groups that heighten enrollment. Accurate appropriation of funds based on student interest is also important since students supply the money for A&S fees, which are the funds that are given to student organizations.

At the end of each semester, student organizations needing financial assistance are required to submit an application to SGA.

After the application is completed, usually by the organization’s president, the next step in this traditional process is for the student senate to review the budget. The student senate is comprised of eight undergraduate students from each classification and, in addition, three graduate students.

If the senate decides that the organization’s request is acceptable, the request moves to a vote by four committees: Judicial Rules, Elections and Appointments, the Organizations and Finance and the Student Relations Committees.

If the standing committees approve the budget, its next stop is at the desk of the student body president.

“If the student body president chooses not to approve the budget, his or her decision may be countered by a two-thirds vote from the senate,” said Morris Hawkins, the SGA Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller.

Once an approved budget makes it past the student body president, it then goes to the university president who has 15 days to review the request. If the president does not act after two weeks and a day, the budget becomes official and is passed into law.

According to the “Fang Student Handbook 2006-2007,” “The University officially recognizes and supports over 165 organizations and encourages the creation of new organizations as needed.”

For more information about the distribution of funds for student organizations or for those interested in requesting additional funds, call (850) 599-3624.