With decrease in full time enrollment expected, UBAC mandates budget cuts, votes for A&S fee increase

Student organizations are being asked to cut their budgets to mitigate a 2 million dollar shortfall

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In a meeting held on Friday, Jan. 23, the University Budget Appropriations Committee met to review which student organizations and programs would be most affected by impending budget cuts.

One organization feeling the sting is Owl Radio, with a cut of $8,000,  bringing their budget to $29,000.

“That’s nothing, Owl Radio needs more than $29,000! We have to pay royalties and we have to pay for two conferences that change students’ lives,” said Gabby Alvarado, the station manager and news director for Owl Radio. “It cost $20,000 for Automations alone,” said Alvarado.

UBAC Chairman Thomas DeMaio announced that the UBAC budget was facing a decrease of 2.2 million dollars from an original estimate of 9 million dollars in an email sent on Jan. 11.

Every organization that is funded by the UBAC — including the University Press — was told they could be facing a 15.5 percent decrease in each of their budgets due to decreased enrollment, according to the email.

Each account manager was instructed to have a new proposal due to the Activity and Service Fees Accounting and Budget office no later than Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 8 a.m., with a short explanation of how they would achieve the goal and what consequences they expected.

To get a feel for how that would affect student organizations, the proposed budget cut for the University Press lowers the operating budget from $114,974 to $97,135, a reduction of almost $18,000.

DeMaio said the budget cuts are a result of an expected decrease in Activity and Service fees.

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Although the number of FAU students has not declined, the number of students that are taking less credits has increased.

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While there is a 15.5 percent decrease in the 2015-2016 budget, the UBAC voted to raise the Activity and Service fee every student pays in their tuition between by an additional $1.18 to $3.00 per credit.

The increase in A and S fees will ensure that the future UBAC’s have the appropriate funding to fund and approve future programs for the student body, DeMaio said via email. The schedule for upcoming UBAC meetings can be found here.