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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fee reserve loses funding plan

The account the Student Fee Review Board uses to fund one-time allocations to student organizations has no way of generating new funds.

Under the old SFRB rules, nine organizations received set recurring funding based on projected enrollment at the University, and any extra funding would go to the SFRB’s balance forward account, which is used for one-time payments.

As an example, if a recurring funding group was allocated $2 per student and the SFRB predicted there would be 25,000 students enrolled in the next school year, SFRB would grant the organization $50,000. The balance forward account was set up so if enrollment the next year is actually 30,000 students, the group would still get only $50,000 and the extra $10,000 would go into the balance forward account.

But under the new SFRB policy passed this year, which eliminated recurring funding, there is no way the account can accrue additional funds for future one-time allocations.

“Under the trial policy there was no mechanism to continue to fund the balance forward account,” SFRB Chair and President of GPSA Katie Richardson said. “In considering about whether or not we should move forward about a trial policy, we need to accommodate some percent of reserve from year to year to maintain our balance forward account.”

Richardson said the board has not yet discussed how to solve the funding problem.

Richardson said the account has $289,000, but SFRB plans to allocate a projected $60,000 from the account this year.

“There has been quite a bit of money going into that account,” she said. “It has basically been just been sitting in the bank instead of serving students.”

This year three different groups were funded one-time allocations out of the balance forward account.

The Women’s Resource Center was given $5,000 for their 40th anniversary, and the Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) was given $5,000 for a pilot program promoting designated driving.

Parking and Transportation Services was allocated $50,000 for the new bike share program conditionally. The program must raise the remaining $200,000-$250,000 by May to get the $50,000.

“That money will not be paid out of the balance forward account unless the bike-share program raises enough capital to complete the project,” she said. “Student fees will only supply $50,000 of that if other entities pitch in as well.”