UHR send activity fee budget to conference committee

UHR completed its budget discussions and passed its final version of the budget to the conference committee on Tuesday. This week, discussions centered primarily on Tier III cultural and special interest organizations.

Representatives examined each club requesting funds in turn, seeking to cut the remaining gap between the amount of money requested and the amount of money that will be available from next year’s Student Activity Fee.

When representatives examined the Tech Off-Road Club, some noticed that the club had requested $45,000 more than it had received last year. A representative familiar with the club said that much of the club’s budget was covered by corporate sponsorship. Saying they wished to encourage the use of corporate funds by the group, representatives denied the $45,000 increase in budget.

Among those requested line items cut was $17,000 for professional driver training. Although the organization indicated it had been wishing to provide the training to members for some time, representatives took issue with the how few members would benefit — four, according to the budget request. Representatives recommended that the organization return to SGA in the fall with an allocation request if they still wished to pursue the training.

Representatives debated at length a number of requests from the Interfraternity Council to fund stipends for its executive positions. Some representatives claimed that Greek organizations should not receive Student Activity Fee funds because they are not open to all students. Supporters of this view moved to strike funding for IFC stipends entirely from the budget.

Another group of representatives argued that Greek life adds value to campus and should be funded with Student Activity Fee funds. They moved to fund a portion of the stipends. This motion was defeated, however, and the House moved to strike the all of the stipends.

After all line items had been discussed, Member at Large Mathias Rost recommended that a line be added to the budget instructing the accounting of sports clubs be moved from the CRC to the Student Organization Finance Office in light of accounting irregularities detailed in an SGA report last month.

Vice President of Finance Charley Crosson advised against such an instruction, saying that the Executive Branch of SGA was working with the CRC to find a solution.

Rost said that UHR should take the initiative and not wait on the Executive Branch to act.

The House chose not to amend the budget with such an instruction.

At the conclusion of its meeting, the House voted to approve its version of the 2013 budget. Members of the House and Graduate Senate will meet on Saturday to discuss the differences between the two versions passed and negotiate a compromise. This conference committee version of the bill will appear in front of both houses on Tuesday and be subject to an up-or-down vote with no amendments being allowed.