Homecoming budget cut

Florida A&M University’s 2008 Homecoming Committee has been forced to operate with 14 percent less funding than last year.

Last year’s homecoming week budget was $117,000, but this year the committee must produce the same results with a $17,000 cut.

“Only 88 percent of the budget has been released,” said Saundra Inge, interim director of FAMU’s Office of Student Activities.

Inge said that after the university received the budget cut, she was asked to figure out a way to operate with less. In January she submitted a request of $100,000 and was granted the full amount.

Although Inge said that the committee can function with the decrease, it is easy to overspend.

“It’s never enough,” she said.

Inge said that she is grateful for faithful supporters of the university whom always support regardless of the amount of money the committee has to operate with.

“It’s good to get a little more when you don’t have, so when you have a little more you give,” she said.

This homecoming week is especially costly because of the inauguration of FAMU’s president, Dr. James Ammons.

Inge said that because this year’s budget was submitted in January, the inauguration was not considered at the time of calculation.

Many events will be held off campus at the Leon County Civic Center, which means they will cost more to organize and transport students, faculty and staff from campus to the Civic Center, Inge explained.

The board has maintained many valuable relationships with homecoming partners over the years and their support is expected to balance the cost for several expenses.

“We have been fortunate this year to continue our relationship with BET as a part of their College Campus Tour,” said Mellori Lumpkin, co-chair of the homecoming committee.

“This will greatly supplement additional expenses that we would have incurred for the Kick-Off Bash, Homecoming Barbeque,” she added.

Lumpkin said the committee has also secured a sponsorship with allhiphop.com in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Hip-Hop website.

This program includes a forum concerning today’s music industry for students.

“This is another avenue for us to save expenses and provide an intellectually stimulating event for our student body,” said Lumpkin, 21, a business administration student from Bainbridge, Ga.

The Homecoming Committee operates through an account separate from the Campus Activities Board, whose budget was cut by more than 50 percent this year.

Karla Black, 20, a senior business administration student and former Homecoming Concert co-chair, said, maintaining relationships with previous partners will help ease the strain of staying within the budget.

“If everyone uses their money and their resources wisely they should be able to make it,” Black said.

The committee also produces FAMU paraphernalia such as t-shirts, banners, posters, and other decorations to make the week a success. The committee is responsible for producing FAMU’s homecoming week, which is scheduled for Oct. 26 through Nov. 1.

To see the schedule and get more information about the 2008 Homecoming week visit www.famu.edu/index