Student Government proposes more than $100,000 budget

Nashwa Bawab

The Student Service Budget Committee allotted a total budget of $112,820 for the 2015–2016 UT Student Government.

SG initially requested $168,815 before the committee decided on the final amount. The budget includes expenses of $25,000 for appropriations for the fiscal year, $90 for the Legislative Branch, $3,000 for special projects, $2,355 for the Executive Branch, $1,500 for internal expenses, $12,000 for operating expenses, $10,400 for tuition allotments, $30,780 for stipends, $24,045 for agencies, $2,650 for wages and $1,000 for the Big 12 Conference.

John Falke, financial affairs committee chair, said he is very happy that agencies will be receiving a higher amount than last year, because it is a chance to give back to the UT community.

“We allotted more to agencies — much more than we gave them last year  — which is really awesome and something we wanted to do,” Falke said. “I wanted [the money] to go back to the students instead of the representatives, and this way all of this money goes back to them in some way. I think that’s a great part of Student Government and one of the main reasons I got involved.”

During the summer, SG saw 69 summer appropriations applications, a large increase from the 16 student organizations who applied last summer, according to Nicole Chu, internal financial director. Chu said the budget committee chose which organizations to give money to based on what they had to offer in terms of impactful services and events for students.

“This is a huge spike in the number of applications,” Chu said. “We’re glad that so [many] more students are looking for funding from Student Government.”

The agencies that were allotted a budget are the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency, Queer Student Alliance, Longhorn Legislative Aides, Freshman Leadership Organization, Federal Relations Agency, Campus Safety Agency, Diversity & Inclusion Agency, City Relations Agency and Women’s Resource Agency. QSA Legislative Chair James Che said the organization initially requested $18,900 for fees to bring transgender celebrity Janet Mock to campus.

“We wanted to go big and try to get a lot of money to get Janet Mock, because her fees are about $12,500, and we really thought she’d be a great speaker,” Che said. “We weren’t expecting to get the entire amount, and we’re pleased with what we did get and hope to get more some other way.”

A new item on this year’s budget is funding for the Big 12 Conference, which will be hosted by UT this year, Chu said. The conference was allotted $1,000 by Student Government for their expenses.

“It’s the first time UT is hosting the conference in a while, so [SG] also got a portion of the budget,” Chu said.

The allotted budget amounts will be formally confirmed next Tuesday.

This article been amended since its publication. Student Government received 69 summer appropriations applications, not agency budget requests, as previously stated.