MacArthur SG’s budget finalized amid heavy cuts

Delayed by a violent hailstorm and faced with a projected shortfall of more than $20,000, the MacArthur campus budget committee met in the MAC conference room on Thursday, March 13, and convened at about 8 p.m., after it stopped hailing.

The seven-hour meeting was supposed to start at 7 p.m., but was delayed due to the violent hail and pouring rain. MacArthur campus governor Brent Dell was driving commuter students from the MLC building to their cars because the Night Owl service wasn’t running.

The budgeting process begins when the University-Wide Council (UWC) – the main FAU Student Government comprised of the university-wide student body president and vice president, campus governors, senate speakers, and representatives – allocates money within its budget to each campus.

The UWC also allocates money to clubs and organizations that serve each of FAU’s four campuses in Davie, Treasure Coast, Boca Raton, and Jupiter. Examples of these organizations include the and Owl TV.

MacArthur’s budget committee is comprised of the nine MacArthur campus senators, campus governor Brent Dell and campus controller Brian Pita. Joseph Isadore, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, is a non-voting member of the committee.

For five weeks prior to Thursday’s meeting, the budget committee met once a week from 7 to 11 p.m. to hear budget proposals from the campus’ 17 clubs and various SG and administrative agencies.

With an allocation of $311,027, the campus received $21,000 less than last year, and had new clubs requesting support. This money does not come from a magic money pot.

SG is allocated money from activities and service fees within students’ tuition. Based on $10 per credit hour, the UWC allocates money to the various campuses based on projected enrollment. This budget is for next school year, fiscal year 2003-2004.

In the budget meeting, committee members agree on an amount to allocate to each club, organization, or agency based upon factors including their mission, membership, and activities. The committee also considers how the money was spent in the last fiscal year and how the club, organization, or agency and its activities benefit MacArthur campus students. Committee members voiced their concern and debated upon the best way to allocate the tight budget.

The budget was tight, yet the budget committee allocated $5,000 more to clubs and organizations than in the previous fiscal year. Many organizations, especially within SG, would be faced with a decrease in funding. Fundraising was suggested and in some cases will be required for all clubs to make up for the lack of budgetary funds.

“The budget committee was faced with a budget shortfall, like much of the university, and was forced to make tough decisions as to what activities were vital to the campus,” said Mindy McLester, senate budget committee chair.