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SGA allocates $376,972 for FY25’s student organizations

Alexis Schlesinger / THE GATEPOST

By Kaitlin Carman 

News Editor 

SGA allocated $376,972 to student organizations for FY25 during their annual “Big Budget” meeting on Feb. 6 in the McCarthy Center.

Student organizations must present their proposed budgets to SGA to receive allocated funds from the Student Activity Trust Fund (SATF). 

The funding for the SATF is provided by student fees. 

According to SGA, the current fee structure charges full-time day students $70 per semester, while part-time students pay a prorated fee depending on the number of courses they are registered for (two courses and under).

Group one organizations, WDJM, The Gatepost, and FSAB (Framingham State Activities Board) are the only organizations required to present their budgets in person.​​ 

Organizations in groups two through six are not.

WDJM 91.3 FM’s representatives, Kyle Walker and Jack McLaughlin, presented first. 

They proposed and were allocated a total of $14,892 for FY25. The vote was unanimous.

SGA allocated them $2,600 for station events, $300 for promotional items, $1,905 for licensing and memberships, and $10,087 for station administration. 

WDJM cut costs for food in order to cover more events, according to Walker.

He said, “We’re looking to invite more artists into our station to do live performances.”

The Gatepost was next. Its budget was presented by Editor-in-Chief Sophia Harris, Associate Editor Ryan O’Connell, and Photos and Design Editor Maddison Behringer.

They proposed and were allocated a total of $33,550. The vote was unanimous with one abstention. 

They received $18,000 for newspaper printing, $800 for promotional items and recruitment events, $2,522 for licensing, memberships, and awards, $3,800 for office supplies and equipment, and $8,428 for the College Media Association (CMA) conference.

Harris, a junior, said the $200 increase for promotional items and recruitment is because “this budget was not utilized properly in the past” and they have been reduced to older promotional stickers.

SATF Treasurer Aimee Takouda asked how the allocations were not used responsibly in the past and how The Gatepost would prevent a repeated occurrence.

Before responding, Vice President Raffi Elhoury added a point of information that identified Harris as a first-year Editor-in-Chief.

He said, “It would be unfair to expect you to account for the … mistakes or mismanagement of funds from previous years because you weren’t involved in this role.”

Harris said, “In the past, the budget has been handled solely by the editor-in-chief, so the editorial board didn’t really have a say on what the budget would be allocated for.

“We had no idea what was going on,” she said.

O’Connell said their subscription to the Associated Collegiate Press had not been renewed since 2019.

The entire editorial staff was included in the budget-drafting process, according to Harris.

She said, “I had my entire [editorial] board vote and confirm my decisions for this budget … so everybody had a fair and equal say on what the budget is being spent on.

“I really want to make sure that every cent we were asking for was really going to a cause that we needed it for," she said.

Senator Jacob Sargent drew attention to the $8,248 cost of their annual CMA conference visit, which covers the cost of the conference, transportation, and hotel costs for approximately six people: four students and two advisors.

Sargent asked, “With such an investment as this, do you believe that this is critical to the newspaper?”

Behringer said they already implemented strategies and techniques that were learned from the 2023 conference and they have “exponentially” improved the quality of the newspaper.

Harris reminded SGA members that attendees from that conference submitted a five-page paper detailing what they had learned and why they believed it was important to attend.

When SGA allocates an organization a large amount of money for a conference, they intend for its members to use that investment to bring back information and skills that better serve the University, according to Elkhoury.

He said, “I’m not a member of The Gatepost but I will say, as a member of SGA from last year, I definitely did enjoy that presentation and felt like you guys brought that important information to the University.”

FSAB, represented by Ben Hurney and Kyle Walker, was the final group one organization to present and was allocated their proposed $121,400 budget by a unanimous vote. 

For on-campus events, $71,200 was allocated, along with $40,700 for off-campus events, $1,000 for publicity and marketing, $2,500 for membership and development, and $6,000 for NACA.

Hurney said that FSAB would like to have a commuter table “so we can have more events focused towards commuters, especially since … the commuter student group is not a thing anymore.”

A total of $90,000 was allocated to group two organizations. BSU, B2B, Dance Team, Hilltop Players, Outing Club, and Ski & Snowboard Club were each allocated $15,000.

Group three organizations, ACDG, Anime Club, Comic Club, Fashion Club, Gaming Club, History Club, M.I.S.S., and The Onyx, were allocated $6,000 each for a total of $48,000.

In previous years, M.I.S.S. was classified as a group two organization. For FY25, they are classified as a group three organization.

SGA President Evelyn Campbell, though unable to vote, stated that SGA often collaborates with M.I.S.S. They are an active organization, and because of that, she disagrees with its reclassification.

“I still believe that they belong in group two just because they are more active and [the current president] continues to be the president of M.I.S.S. for next year - so I believe they will still be active,” said Campbell.

M.I.S.S. changed from group two to a group three because it has not spent the majority of their group two budget allocations over the past five fiscal years, according to Elkhoury.

He said, “I don’t think it’s fair for us to allocate additional money to an organization specifically for us to be able to use that money in collaboration with that organization.

“If SGA wants to put on an event and collaborate with organizations, we should include that money in our own budget so that we can collaborate with organizations and not ask them to pitch up a large percentage of their budget,” said Elkhoury.

Group four organizations were each allocated $2,000 for a total of $18,000. They are comprised of the African Student Association, ASL (American Sign Language) Club, Chess Club, Education Club, Green Initiative Club, Martial Arts Club, Math Club, Salvation Youth Club, and the Wildlife Club.

A total of $4,000 was allocated to group five organizations. AHP, Christian Fellowship Club, Pride Alliance Club, J.U.I.C.E., Knitting Club, Model UN, Marketing Club, Food Science Club, Disability Advocacy, and Cosplay Club received $400 each.

Group six organizations, D&D Club, English Club, Muslim Student Association, Neurodivergent Student Association, New Creations, Nutrition Club, Psychology Club, and Veteran Student Association, were allocated $0. 

“See you next year,” said Elkhoury.

[Editor’s Note: Sophia Harris, Ryan O’Connell, and Maddison Behringer, Jack McLaughlin, Ben Hurney, and Kyle Walker are staff members of The Gatepost.]



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