A&S funds suffer new cuts

Student senators met Monday to introduce the proposed Activity and Service budget for the 2008-2009 school year. The proposed budget of $2.9 million is $300,000 less than the previous year at $3.2 million. The decreased budget may mean decreased production for Journey magazine and little or no funding for some organizations.

The new budget focuses on basic allotments to core organizations such as Student Government Association, the Office of Student Union and Activities, the Marching 100 and Campus Activities Board, with special consideration to other student organizations that have indicated a need for funding. 

Senate President Mellori Lumpkin, 20, a junior business administration student from Bainbridge said, “We prioritize based on larger organizations – those that touch most of the students.”

CAB is listed as an affiliate account, and under the proposed budget it would receive $12,500 – a small chunk of change, according to one student in particular.

Gallop Franklin, a third-year pharmacy student from Tallahassee said, “It’s absurd. CAB does programming for the entire campus and plays an integral role in raising student morale. $12,500 is not sufficient enough for the CAB to function and will ultimately dismantle it.”

Franklin said in the past, CAB received more money.

“I served on CAB during my freshman and sophomore year and the funding usually stayed between $30,000 to $35,000,” Franklin said. “I believe it would need at least $80,000 a year to allow it to run a sufficient operation and develop holistically. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to sit on the board with only $12,500 to operate.”

Divvying up money effectively may pose a challenge to those organizations that feel they are being shortchanged.

However, at the other end of the financial spectrum are the 26 small clubs and organizations that will receive no funding.

“The budget is based off projected collections and enrollment,” Lumpkin said. “With the increase in tuition, student enrollment is down and students are taking less credit hours, so the tuition increase doesn’t offset to budget decrease.”

Though it is the Senate’s job to plan for budget contingencies, there may be a solution for those organizations faced with zero funding.

“We’ve always encouraged students to come to meetings and advocate on behalf of their organizations,” Lumpkin said. 

Yet, as explained by the Senate, student organizations should be aware that if they are granted an allotment from the Senate, the ripple effect will be a decrease in an allotment in other areas. 

Campus Recreation received priority with $554,654, while Journey Magazine, with a proposed $61,000, suffered a decrease from last year’s allotment.

Junior Sen. Justin Clarke, 20, a healthcare management student from St. Petersburg, explained the plan for Journey. 

“Because of the budget decrease, the magazine is going to decrease production from 8,000 copies to 5,000 copies and increase the magazine’s thickness,” Clarke said.

But the issue of quality versus quantity left Eric Troy Wright Jr., 21, a junior early childhood education student from Tampa, confused.

“I think anytime SGA advocates better communication but targets school media, its a direct hypocrisy and contradiction,” Wright said. “You can’t increase communication and cut any school media outlet. They should leave Journey magazine the way it is.”

In response to student concerns about the proposed budget Lumpkin said, “Keep in mind it’s only proposed and a lot of things are likely to change next Monday.”