Jaime Donelson contributed to this article
The Conference, Registration, and Travel Committee (CRT) of SGA is currently out of funding. This is a common occurence nearing the end of the fiscal year, but a newly implemented plan aims to prevent this from happening in the future.
Two bills, changing the budget plans for CRT and FAO were voted on and approved at the end of 2017. In the new system created by CRT chair Joseph Cubow and FAO chair David Sidhom, SGA’s spending budget for both committees will be divided into quarters in an attempt to prevent a loss of funds earlier in the fiscal year.
Currently, the CRT and FAO budget act as a “pot of money,” that operates on a first come, first serve basis, according to Cubow. RSOs can apply for funding as early as they want, but this can cause an influx of requests earlier in the year, which depletes the funding quickly.
“CRT is out of money currently because of this process,” Cubow said.
The combined budget between CRT and FAO is nearly a million dollars, according to Cubow.
“We wanted to find a way to make that look smaller, so we can spend more responsibly.” Cubow said. “…In order to do that, we cut our time frames into fourths.”
Each quarter will have a different amount of funding allocated to them, based on the volume of applications for funding, as well as the amount of conferences and events in each quarter, according to Sidhom.
One of the main inspirations for changing the budget plan is that RSOs with conferences or events later in the year often can’t get the funding they need because the money is depleted earlier in the fiscal year. This new plan aims to prevent that by allocating funds to each quarter, therefore those RSOs have a chance to apply without doing so earlier in the year, Sidhom said.
These changes mean that the bigger RSOs who tend to apply for funding early will have to wait to apply closer to the time of their event, Cubow said.
Though the new plan has been well supported through SGA’s senate, there are some concerns. Cubow confirmed that there was some pushback from RSO’s who weren’t informed on the new plan. RSOs were contacted by CRT and FAO before any changes for suggestions on the new plan, but many did not reply.
Sidhom continued by saying that one major detriments to this plan would be RSOs pulling money out of future quarters. If RSOs were to apply to allocate funds for a future quarter, it could potentially mean funds depleting faster. Cubow explained based on how the new budget plan does within the next year they may restructure that aspect.
“[Funding has] all depleted around now so we might try restructuring that and we hope to get more student feedback,” Cubow said.
Cubow and Sidhom are eager to fully implement the new budget plan in July when the new fiscal year begins. They plan to address RSOs fully during the RSOs training process, to gain more student feedback.