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August 16, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

IC SGA unable to fund organizations due to money shortage

According to an email sent to the executive boards of student organizations Feb. 17, the Ithaca College Student Government Association will no longer be able to fund student organizations due to a shortage of available money in the Student Activities Fund.

At the last SGA meeting, senior Brandon Xing, vice president of business and finance, detailed the current situation of the Student Activities Fund. He said the Appropriations Committee thought it had about $21,000 in the budget, but a recalculation of the finances showed that only about $17,000 was remaining, and the committee had already committed about $19,000 to a number of student organizations.

“I apologize to the student organizations that have not received funding, or were planning events that would require funds,” Xing said in the email. “While the goal for the Student Activities Fund is to run out before the end of the year, I realize that it may be challenging for student organizations from this point forward.”

Student organizations previously scheduled to meet with the Appropriations Committee still attended their meeting Feb. 18 to discuss the financial requests they had already submitted. However, those organizations that had not submitted their budget requests prior to the fund’s depletion will not be able to obtain money from the fund.

One such organization affected by the SGA’s budget shortage is IC A Cure for Kids, which will be hosting a March Madness–event March 28. Sophomore Leah Rostohar, the club’s president, said the club also needs funding for its second event of the semester, which has not been decided on.

“We’re figuring out our second event still, and now we have to accommodate knowing that we don’t have any funding to help us out, so that’s a big obstacle that we’re going to have to face, as well as other organizations,” Rostohar said. “It’s going to be very difficult for organizations to run their events and fundraise for the things they need to fundraise for in order to help other places. We always help St. Jude … but it’s difficult when we don’t have any help from the college.”

Sophomore Jordan Shoemaker, treasurer of IC Voicestream, said the group will have to work with available resources as they prepare for their concert for the fourth block and their concert and workshop tour that will take place over spring break.

“The lack of student organization funding available does present a challenge for IC Voicestream,” Shoemaker said. “I understand that times are tight for everyone involved, and for the time being, IC Voicestream will work with what we have.”

IC Premium Blend is also facing challenges as the group needs funding to hire people to do photography, lighting and amplification at its final concert of the semester. However, senior Justine Gray, the group’s vice president, said IC Premium Blend was able to meet with the Appropriations Committee on Feb. 18 to sort out funding, so she said she is more concerned about those organizations that did not have the opportunity to do so.

“I’m more worried about other groups who haven’t gotten their budgets in yet,” she said. “If you didn’t get your budget in last week, then you don’t have a meeting this week, so you’re kind of out of luck.”

Gray also said the sudden emptiness of the Student Activities Fund is surprising because she felt Xing had been doing a great job with the transition into his position after the former vice president of business and finance, junior Sandra Rojas, resigned last semester and IC Premium Blend has had positive experiences with SGA funding in the past.

“This is really not normal,” Gray said. “SGA has always been really great and on top of everything, especially when Sandra stepped down and Brandon came in. He’s done a great job getting right into the job and making it a really smooth process.”

To avoid situations like this in the future, Xing encouraged student organizations in his email to fundraise without the help of the SGA. He also said if the SGA is to receive any additional funding or if money is returned to the Student Activities Fund, he will reopen the necessary forms and email another update.

“I urge all student organizations to participate more heavily on fundraising and raising funds from outside sources — particularly student organizations that know they will incur specific costs every semester,” he said in his email. “There is only so much money in the fund, and unfortunately, we cannot give everything to everyone.”

 

News editor Kayla Dwyer contributed reporting.

 

This article has been changed to reflect the following corrections: IC Pay it Forward has been removed as an example of a student organization affected by the lack of funding, as the organization’s budget has been approved. In addition, Sandra Rojas is a junior, not a sophomore.

Natalie Shanklin can be reached at nshanklin@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @nshanklin2018