Final SGA budget passes; Tier 2 organizations see largest cuts

On Tuesday, the Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR) and the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) approved the final version of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) 2009-2010 fiscal year budget. The $4.27 million budget helps to fund student organizations, the Student Center and the Campus Recreation Center.

With votes of 35-1-0 and 23-0-0 in the UHR and the GSS respectively, the conference committee-approved bill was confirmed with little trouble. The size of this year’s budget is nearly identical to last year’s, only a $5,856 increase.

Although the amount of money is nearly the same, the money allocated to Tier 2 organizations dropped $37,000. Tier 2 organizations consist of DramaTech, GSS, Interfraternity Council, Intramurals, MOVE, Musician’s Network, Outdoor Recreation at Georgia Tech, President’s Council Governing Board, Student Center Programs Council, Student Publications, UHR and WREK.

This number would actually be higher, but the GSS moved a $50,000 accountant position in the annual budget. Previously, that position had been funded by a funding bill that would be passed during the Fall. The Tier 2 budget was also buoyed by the increase in the Student Center Programs Council allocation for Sting Break. In the past, the SGA funded most of Sting Break with a mid-year funding bill during the academic year. This year they increased the funding for the event by $40,000 to match the amount of money that would normally be allocated in the mid-year bill.

The budget for Tier 1 organizations, which consist of only the Student Center and the Campus Recreation Center, saw a small $14,000 reduction from last year’s budget. With a budget that came in at just under $2.89 million, that reduction was not a significant change. Although not the only source of funding for these organizations, the SGA budget provides money to cover the costs of several staff members and the expenses for equipment.

Tier 3 organizations consist of all other chartered student organizations. The budget for all of these organizations saw a rise of $57,207, totalling out at just above $480,000. Tier 3 organizations consist of sports clubs, such as the Ice Hockey Club, culture clubs, like African American Student Union, and social clubs, including the Yellow Jacket Flying Club and GT Motor sports.

The majority funds for the SGA budget come directly from the Student Activity Fee. The total amount of money available for this year’s budget is just about $4.3 million. During the GSS meeting on Tuesday, senators praised the fact that the budget came in under the $4.3 million mark.

The SGA also implemented a new tier system this year to determine the stipends of Tier 2 student positions. A bill to amend the Joint Finance Policy, the document that governs the budgeting actions of the SGA, with this new stipend policy was postponed indefinitely. However, the guidelines will still be used to set stipend amounts.