UTSA’s Student Government Association (SGA) was given a budget of $47,650 for the 2011-2012 academic year. The funds go toward a variety of expenses for the organization. The SGA’s expenses are paid for with money collected from the Student Services Fee, which UTSA students pay every semester as part of their tuition. 45 percent, or $21,593, of the SGA’s budget goes toward officer stipends, a leadership-building trip, the SGA banquet and retreats in the fall and spring. The SGA’s LeaderFund receives an additional $9,000 on top of their annual budget.
The remainder of the budget is devoted to the golf cart parade, office operations, public relations, the University Life Awards and various expenditures related to committees. A more detailed copy of the budget is available upon request at the SGA office on campus, which is located next to the Subway in the University Center (UC).
UTSA students taking 12 hours of coursework during the spring 2012 semester paid $184.80 for the Student Services Fee. This fee not only pays for the SGA’s budget, but the budgets for the other UTSA-sponsored organizations as well.
Together, these other organizations such as the Campus Activities Board, the Greek councils, Honors Alliance, Student Organization Council, UTSA Ambassadors and VOICES, receive around $146,000 from the Student Services Fee.
In regard to how the money is spent, Student Government Association President Xavier Johnson said SGA achieved several goals this year.
“Bringing alcohol to Chili’s on campus, convincing UTSA to build a Starbucks at the downtown campus, creating a waitlist program for registration and removing a FERPA violation,” Johnson said.
Johnson also explained that the SGA is helping plan football games, coordinating a sustainability forum, improving the planning of the University Life Awards and creating a stronger presence on campus.
SGA Treasurer Darnell Thomas also added to the list of their achievements.
“SGA is worth it. I believe if you inform enough people about a problem, then you will get what you want,” senior anthropology major Destiney Hennington said. “I feel that they represent me on campus. I feel I can be represented more if I involve myself in the organization.”
Hennington also explained why she is not yet involved in the SGA.
“I didn’t know enough about the organization or where it was located.” Hennington said. She also proposed that SGA should, “go around campus and talk to people. It’s more personable.”
Some students think the SGA does not need the money they receive.