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SGA allocates $363,600 for FY24: Organizations asked to make budget cuts for the third year in a row


Maddison Behringer / THE GATEPOST

By Sophia Harris, News Editor

By Raena Doty, Editorial Staff


SGA allocated $363,600 in funding for the organization's Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budgets during its annual “Big Budget” meeting on Feb. 10.


This allocated amount is down approximately 1.6% from the FY23 allocation of $369,642.


A total of $12,303 was left in unallocated funds.


Each organization is separated into a group, making for a total of six groups.


Group One consists of four organizations: The Gatepost, SGA, Framingham State Activities Board (FSAB), and WDJM Radio 91.3.


Group Two consists of seven organizations: the Afro-Caribbean Dance Group (ACDG), Black Student Union, Brother 2 Brother, Dance Club, The Hilltop Players, Motivation. Intersectionality. Solidarity. Sisterhood. (M.I.S.S.), and Ski & Snowboard Club.


Group Three consists of seven organizations: ASL Club, Comic Book Club, Fashion Club, Gaming Club, History Club, The Onyx, and Outing Club.


Group Four consists of 13 groups: Anime Club, Art Club, Christian Fellowship, Commuter Student Club, CompSci Club, Education Club, English Club, Green Initiative, LUNA, Math Club, Psychology Club, Students of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA), and Wildlife Club.


Group Five consists of four groups: Aspiring Health Pros, Active Minds, Nutrition Club, and Political Science Club.


Group Six consists of six groups: Engineering Club, IGNITE, Pride Alliance, Student Vets, The 508 Club, and the Web & App Development Club.


Organizations in Group One met with SGA to present their requests and discuss changes to funding.


Group One organizations were asked to cut their budgets because the overall Student Activities Trust Fund (SATF) was cut due to low enrollment.


This is the third year Group One organizations have been asked to cut from their budgets.


Groups Two through Five did not meet with SGA to discuss budget requests at the meeting and instead, the Finance Committee requested the organizations’ budgets for FY24.


Each organization in Group Two received an allocated flat rate of $13,500, costing a total of $94,500.

Each organization in Group Three received an allocated flat rate of $5,500, costing a total of $38,500.

Each organization in Group Four received an allocated flat rate of $1,000, costing a total of $13,000.

Each organization in Group Five received an allocated flat rate of $200, costing a total of $800.

Organizations in Group Six did not receive any allocation, but can request allocation at their Financial Committee meetings.


WDJM Radio 91.3 FM

President Kyle Walker and Treasurer Jack Mclaughlin presented WDJM’s request.

In its revised budget, WDJM cut its “Station Events” category from $1,800 to $1,425, which was due to the removal of $100 for line item “Food” and a $275 decrease in funding for line item “Activities.”

Another revision to the WDJM budget was for its “Promotional Items” category. This category was decreased from $700 to $300 due to the cut of $600 from its funding for the line item “T-shirts” and the $200 increase in the line item “Giveaways.”

An increase was also made to WDJM's budget in the category “Licensing and Memberships.” The budget increased from $1,705 to $1,905. There was a $200 increase in the line item “Streaming Services” and a $10 increase in the line item “SESAC.”

McLaughlin said the licensing and memberships to the streaming services are vital to the operation of the station.

WDJM increased its budget for “Station Administration” from $9,637 to $10,087.

McLaughlin said they were able to cut $350 from the line item “Station Inspection” because they do not need the allocation for an inspection that was just recently undertaken last year, and only needs to take place every three years.

He said WDJM needed to increase the line item “Equipment” to $800 for a new soundboard.

McLaughlin said the soundboard has “been there for an unknown amount of time.”

A motion was made to allocate WDJM its full amount of funding for its revised FY24 budget of $13,717, including the expense of “Station Events,” “Promotional Items,” “Licensing & Membership,” and “Station Administration.” This is a 0.9% reduction from FY23.

The motion for the full budget passed unanimously.

The Gatepost

The Gatepost’s budget request was presented by Editor-In-Chief Leighah Beausoleil and Associate Editor Emily Rosenberg.

In its revised budget, The Gatepost cut from its FY23 allocation of $34,675 to $32,055 for FY24.

There was a $2,250 decrease in the expense of “Newspaper Administration” to $18,000 for FY24.

This was due to the removal of the line item “Administrative Assistant,” which was changed to a work-study position, Beausoleil said.

There were three line items in this category including “Printing,” “Administrative Assistant,” and “Postage.”

There was no change to the “Printing” and “Postage” allocation.

In its “Promotional Items & Recruitment Events” category, The Gatepost requested a total of $600, which includes $400 for line item “Promotional Items” and $200 for line item “Recruitment Events.”

This was a $100 decrease from the FY23 budget.

The request went unchallenged and the full $600 was passed by SGA.

In its “Licensing, Memberships & Awards” category, The Gatepost requested $1,887. This was a $230 increase from its FY23 allocation of $1,657.

Beausoleil said due to the increase in the number of submissions of Society of Professional Journalist Mark of Excellence Awards, it cost an extra $40 for the line item “SPJ Award Submissions.”

She said $20 is needed to purchase additional storage on Google Drive. This is a new line item - “Google One.”

President Dara Barros challenged this addition and asked why The Gatepost doesn't use Microsoft OneDrive instead.

Beausoleil said Google One has better security accommodations for The Gatepost's needs.

Another line item added this year was “Otter.ai.” Otter is an artificial intelligence transcription application used by staff members during interviews for note-taking purposes.

The request was for $100.

There was a $70 increase in the line item “Website & Domain” because of the recent change of website hosts from GoDaddy to Wix.

The Gatepost had to recreate its website due to it being hacked over the summer, according to Beausoleil.

The request for the line item “Licensing & Membership” for $1,887 was passed.

The Gatepost requested $3,140 for its “Office Supplies & Equipment” category, which is a $500 decrease from the allocated $3,675 for FY23.

The only change to this category was in the line item “Office Supplies & Furniture, excluding copier.”

The Gatepost previously received $1,300 in this category for FY23, but cut it in the FY24 request asking for $800.

Vice President Raffi Elkhoury asked about what the $800 of the line item “Office Supplies” would be spent on.

Beausoleil listed office supplies, including staplers, chairs, notebooks, and pencils.

Senator Dillion Riley moved to deny the request for $3,140 for the category “Office Supplies & Equipment.”

Sara Gallegos, executive director of Student Experience and Careers, said, “If you're trying to eliminate equipment that is essential for the operation of the organization - think very hard about eliminating that.”

Sam Houle, SATF treasurer, moved to allocate the full $3,140 for the line item “Office Supplies & Equipment.”

Riley debated the motion. “I think the $800 is just a large amount - I’m just not a huge fan. … I just think $800 could be allocated elsewhere.”

The motion for the full amount did not pass.

Riley moved to allocate an amount not to exceed $2,240 to the category “Office Supplies & Equipment” with a decrease in the line item “Office Supplies & Furniture, excluding copier” by $400 and a $500 decrease from the line item “Cameras & Computers.”

Houle debated that “there are still new lenses that you can buy. You could drop lenses and they [The Gatepost] seem to have expressed the need for the ability to replace it. I don't think we should be cutting cameras and computers specifically.”

Riley said, “If the equipment is breaking, I think that's an issue with the people who are handling that.”

Elkhoury said, “I'm just going to say I think it's important that we acknowledge that we don't understand the inner workings of groups. So our personal knowledge on topics may not actually reflect the topic at hand, but I appreciate your comment.”

Beausoleil responded, “I get where you're coming from for the office supplies - I can understand that. But when it comes to our cameras and computers, if we were to need to replace, for example, a computer at the moment, that's $1,300. … We would not have enough to replace it and that money does not carry over from year to year.”

The motion for the allocation of $2,240 was not passed.

Senator Andy Thompson made a motion to allocate $2,740 to the category “Office Supplies & Equipment,” which included a $400 decrease in “Office Supplies & Furniture, excluding copier.”

This motion passed.

The Gatepost’s final category was the “College Media Association Conference” (CMA) and it requested $8,428.

Beausoleil said the CMA conference is comprised of “multiple informational sessions and events that are throughout the entire day - throughout a couple of days - and each event and info session is on a different topic that can help us gain more knowledge as student journalists and we can put that knowledge toward improving our paper throughout the years.

“We also submit ourselves to a critique of our website and our newspaper so they can help us ensure we're being the best student newspaper we can possibly be,” she said.

She added, “For students who are going into journalism, this can be very valuable as well because this is the information we can use for the rest of our lives, not just in college.”

The request was passed by SGA.

A motion was made to allocate a total of $31,655 to The Gatepost’s FY24 budget, with a $500 reduction from the organization’s original request for the “Office Supplies & Equipment” category.

This allocated amount is an 8.7% decrease from FY23.

The motion passed.


FSAB


FSAB’s funding request was presented by President Annalisa Marzeotti and Vice President Andy Thompson.

FSAB requested and was approved for $66,000 in funding for the “On-Campus Events” category, which was decreased by 10% from FY23.

FSAB reduced its request for “Sam the Ram’s Birthday” by $2,000 due to the reduction in SATF funds.

The organization’s request for the “Pause for Paws” event was reduced by $1,000 and will now only take place during one semester instead of both the fall and spring semesters, said Thompson.

FSAB’s request for the line item “Stuff-a-Bear” was decreased from $8,000 to $5,000 because the cost of bears is not due to increase, according to Thompson.

FSAB’s request for the line item “Prize Wheel” was decreased by 50% to $1,500 because of “the limited availability of our eBoard for the upcoming year. We didn't want this huge financial strain on them to have to put on six events, so we reduced it by half,” Thompson said.

The motion to allocate the full amount of $66,000 was passed.

FSAB requested $35,600 for category “Off-Campus Events,” which was decreased from the FY23 allocation of $37,700.

The line items “Bruins” and “Red Sox” games and “Amusement Parks” were decreased, as the organization plans to bring fewer people.

The line item “Bruins” was decreased by 10%, “Red Sox” by 15%, and “Amusement Parks” decreased by 14%.

This request was passed.

The categories “Publicity/Marketing” and “Membership Development” allocations did not change from the previous year and both requests were passed.

FSAB requested $5,300 for its National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Conference, which did not change from the previous year.

Thompson said, “NACA is really great because it allows students to learn things, but also there's a network of our database of all the different NACA performers and musicians. All the different stuff that they bring to the conference is available to all the students through the SILD Office. That can get their organization set up through the NACA [conference] 24/7.”

This request was debated.

Houle debated that FSAB could purchase the membership to the database of vendors instead of going to the conference.

He then moved to allocate $300 from SGA to FSAB for the NACA conference.

This motion was not passed.

Houle added, “Moving from getting four student leaders to go to this conference down to only two, I think there's just not as nearly as much utility for the same amount of money being spent on it. I think that $5,000 would be freed up for student activities.”

Senator Austin Van Lingen said, “It is extremely important that no matter the amount of students that are able to attend this event, it would be life-changing - career-changing.”

Barros disagreed with this statement and said, “I feel that they are getting that experience just being part of everything and being a student leader on campus.”

Elkhoury said, “I believe there are a lot of really good events that are accessible to students on campus. And I agree that I'd like to see that money being distributed more as opposed to just going to specific students.”

Evelyn Campbell, outreach and events coordinator, said, “I gained a lot. I was able to network with other students around Framingham and also the New England area.

“Andy also won awards for FSAB. So, it's not just going there and obtaining information. It's also networking with new students and bringing back things to” Framingham State, she said.

In response, Thompson said, “As mentioned, there’s a lot of opportunities for networking. When you’re in new sessions with other schools, they encourage it, actually.”

A motion was made to allocate the full amount of $5,300 for the “NACA conference.”

The request was passed.

A motion was made to allocate FSAB’s full amount of funding for its revised FY24 budget of $110,400. This is an 8% reduction from FY23.

The motion passed.


SGA


President Barros and SATF Treasurer Houle presented SGA’s budget request.


Their budget is separated into six different categories: “General,” “Operations,” “Training,” “Benevolence,” “Banquet,” and “Travel and Conference.”


Overall, they reduced their budget from last year by 16%.


In the “General” category, SGA requested $700 for FY24, down from $1,000 in FY23.


SGA made cuts to the line item “SGA Outreach Programs,” down from $5,000 to $2,000.


The “Week of Kindness” line item was reduced from $1,000 to $500 for FY24.


The line item “Co-Sponsored Events” was reduced from $5,000 to $3,500.


Overall, the “General” category was allocated 31% less than last year. In FY23, the category had a budget of $17,000, while in FY24, it received an allocation of $11,700.


The category “Operations” received an allocation of 8.7% less than FY23, with a decrease from $28,875 to $26,375.


The “General & Operating Expense” category saw a decrease from $5,000 to $3,000, down 40% from FY23.


The “Auxiliary Expenses” line item was decreased by $1,500, down from $10,000 in FY23 to $8,500 in FY24.


SGA added a new expense under line item “General & Operating Expense,” the parking pass for the SGA president and student trustee, which costs $1,000.


In the “Training” category, a lower allocation was given to the line item “SGA Retreat,” down from $2,000 in FY23 to $500 in FY24.


Overall, the “Training” category saw a budget decrease from $3,400 to $1,900, or 44% less.


No changes were made to the “Banquet” category budget.


The overall SGA budget was decreased from $58,025 to $48,725 - a 16% decrease.


All motions were unopposed and the budget request for FY24 was passed unanimously.



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