Your Views: Letters to the Editor

SGA executives explain budget

Over the past few weeks, the Student Government Association has been diligently finishing next year’s budget. As the budgeting process can be somewhat complex, there have been several questions and concerns raised by organizations concerning their funding.

We hope to clear up some of the common misunderstandings and offer some history and background to this year’s budgeting process.

Every year the Mandatory Student Fee Advisory Committee, a group of appointed student leaders and administrators, meet in the fall to decide upon the following year’s Activity Fee request. Because of the Board of Regents’ forced Tuition Fee this semester and the increasing cost of education that we foresaw for Fall 2010, we opted not to raise the Student Activity Fee.

With that said, because we held the Activity Fee at its current level, we have had to tighten our belts and truly evaluate every line item in the budget. Unfortunately, in prior years a true evaluation of the budget has not always taken place and we applaud this year’s House, Senate and Joint Finance Committee for taking up that task.

Because we are currently still in deliberations over the budget, it is premature to address individual organizations’ budgets and their budget cuts. Albeit, there will always be some organizations that will see a budget reduction below what they believe they needed or deserved.

These organizations may come back next year and submit a bill requesting further funding. In total, SGA received requests for over $5.3 million in spending, whereas our maximum allocation can only be $4.3 million. Why make these organizations come back before SGA and request funds?

We are required to balance next year’s budget with our projected revenues for next year, but because we often have funds that are rolled over at the end of each year, additional funding is available for these organizations through the bill process. It is important for organizations to realize that the funding process is a multifaceted process and yearly budget allocations are not the only means of funding.

If your organization has any questions about SGA or the budgeting process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Aaron Fowler

Graduate Student Body President

Nick Wellkamp

Undergraduate Student Body President

Austin Rahn

SGA Vice President

of Finance

Internet news obscures reading priorities

I greatly enjoyed Ben Keyserling’s opinion article [Real news doesn’t belong on the internet,” April 3] on the disadvantages of moving the news to primarily online formatting.

His point about the competition between what’s important and what’s recent in online news reporting is excellent. I find that as a result, the diversity of my reading suffers as well.

When reading a newspaper, I am able to glance through the pages to find new and interesting articles about topics I had previously known nothing about.

Online, I read only those things that I’m already interested in or knowledgeable about or those whose titles are so intriguing that I am inclined to click through to the article.

Though quicker and more efficient in terms of information transfer, conversion to electronic media leaves the consumer with more choices but diminished ability to discriminate between them.

That said, how anyone did research before keyword searches came along is beyond me.

Joel Boerckel

ME graduate student