SGA reports spending $25,784.96 of budget as of March 7

Out of $47,173.00 allocated from mandatory Students Services fees, $21,388.04 remains

Gauri Raje, News Editor

As the academic year comes to a close, The Paisano obtained a copy of expenses by the Student Government Association (SGA) for the year. 

Out of the $47,173.00 total allocated this year, $25,784.96 has been spent as of March 7, 2023. 

Like every year, the university determined the total amount allocated to SGA after the organization’s advisor, Chantea` Swinson-Rhoe, submitted a proposed budget. This is a process that all sponsored student organizations have to go through.

“This proposed budget does not lock anyone into spending money in any kind of way,” Swinson-Rhoe said. “It is to see what [we’re] spending student fee-related money on and [if] it [is] relating back to students.”

In the case of SGA, funds are derived from the mandatory Student Services fee, which is “$16.18 per semester credit hour, with a maximum of $194.16 per semester.”

Based on information shared with The Paisano, sizable expenses this academic year include $2,235.00 on SGA storefront painting, $1,138.95 on lapel pins as a part of promotional items in Fall 2022 and $4,959.00 on promo items in the Spring 2023 semester.

However, Swinson-Rhoe pointed out that not all of the expenses listed have been processed at the university level. Some of the billing is pending reconsolidation by the Financial Affairs department, which can take up to 30 days. This includes signing contracts with vendors, among other things. 

“It takes a while for those things to process, and that’s just across the entire university,” Swinson-Rhoe said. 

The budget shared with The Paisano was a copy of Swinson-Rhoe’s spreadsheet that helps keep track of spending, both processed and pending.

All expenses for SGA go through the organization’s financial affairs committee and its treasurer. Swinson-Rhoe explained that the treasurer could “make the determination” to make purchases for overall organizational needs. For events, senators, chairs and directors have to submit bid proposals that the executive committee assesses when it comes to purchases for events. The budget is also allocated so that each SGA director has a certain amount of money they can spend on programs. 

Some of the payment methods used by the organization include Interdepartmental Transfer to other departments on campus, OneCard — a credit card — and a PO or Purchase Order. According to Swinson-Rhoe, a PO is used when going through a vendor on RowdyMart and is reconciled, as described above. 

Faculty and staff are given the aforementioned OneCard credit card to make purchases. Students are not allowed to have the card, nor does Swinson-Rhoe have one. In order to make any purchases, SGA has to coordinate with staff who have a OneCard.

Finally, non-PO vouchers are used to pay stipends for SGA’s executive team members. 

Updates to the SGA budget will be presented at SGA’s final general assembly scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20.