Several student organizations that were hoping to apply and receive allocations in the next few weeks may be out of luck.
Temple Student Government Allocations Chair Eric Stephenson announced last Monday during the general assembly meeting that the acceptance of allocations applications will be temporarily suspended due to an accounting error that could potentially shrink the remainder of TSG’s funding budget.
Since last Thursday, TSG has been in the process of auditing itself following documentation from the Finance and Administration department for Student Affairs, which reported that almost $166,000 of TSG’s annual $170,000 allocations budget had already been allocated.
In a previous article, “The Temple News” reported that TSG had a $175,000 allocations budget for the 2006-2007 school year.
During the fall semester, TSG allocated about $124,000, according to Stephenson. But an invoice from the Office of Student Activities and the Finance and Administration department revealed that only about $93,000 of the allocated total was used by student organizations.
The figure was based on the program receipts received by Student Activities from student organizations as of Dec. 15.
“What I thought was $93,000 [based on the fall semester invoice total]. That leaves us with about $30,000 left [to add to the remainder of the budget],” Stephenson said at an allocations committee meeting last Wednesday. As a result, Stephenson said he included the $30,000 in the allocations budget for this semester and passed about 40 bills that amounted to an estimated $42,000 prior to a meeting with David Broadus, the director of finance and administration.
During this meeting, Broadus informed Stephenson that only about $4,000 was left in the funding budget, according to the financial department’s documents. A possible explanation for the budgeting discrepancy is that some receipts were not processed in time for the initial fall semester invoice, Stephenson said.
But until the accurate total of the fall semester’s receipts is confirmed, the Allocations Committee will assume
that the $124,032.97 allocated last semester was the official amount used by student organizations in order
to stay within the budget.
An official report with the accurate total of fall receipts was expected to be filed by the Finance and Administration department last Friday. The report would serve as the basis for an allocations status update that would be e-mailed to all student organizations on TSG’s general listserv.
Depending on the outcome of the official report, TSG could have anywhere from $1,000 to $18,000 left in its allocations budget.
In an e-mail sent Monday to student organizations, Stephenson said applications received prior to last week’s meeting will be considered for funding. This year, the allocations process was changed to operate on a rolling deadline where student groups must apply for funding at least two weeks prior to the program’s scheduled date.
Organizations could also apply for up to $2,500 per semester or $5,000 for the entire school year.
Senior economics major Jessica McKay, a member of the International Business Association, said she was pleased to see the bill for her organization’s program, a business etiquette luncheon, approved at the allocations committee meeting last Wednesday. But McKay said TSG’s current situation is frustrating.
“It’s so ridiculous,” McKay said. “They say at the beginning of the school year that student organizations are supposed to be allocated up to $2,500 per semester. [Some] organizations have already received their money, [and] now the people who are still waiting, we might not get anything.”McKay said her organization, a group with about 50 members, really depends on TSG for money.
“It’s our only source of funding,” McKay
said. “They should have had the foresight to see that they were over allocating from the fall semester.”
Cory Johnson, a brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., said he thinks there is nothing wrong with allocations, even though one of his organization’s programs, a fundraiser, was not passed.
“It’s not what I wanted, but if there is a rule that says a program can’t be funded, then you can’t go against the rule,” Johnson said. “The only thing we can do is try for something else or find another way to raise money.”
Stephenson said student organizations
shouldn’t depend on TSG as their only source for money since allocations operates on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. There are other funding options that student organizations can pursue, he said, adding that he is working on an official document to make student groups aware of the alternatives. Stephenson said he is confident that he and the allocations committee will resolve the funding situation soon.
“It really just takes patience from everyone else because I know everyone is kind of coming down on us,” Stephenson said. “As soon as it’s done … we’re going to have student organizations submitting applications again and we’re going to allocate the $170,000. In a perfect world, we’re going to allocate exactly $170,000,” continued Stephenson.
“It’s not a perfect world because, as you can see from last semester, we’re going
to allocate a certain amount. But only certain organizations are going to take advantage of the amount that we’ve given them.” The only thing the committee can concentrate on now is not going over their budget, Stephenson added.
“That’s why we stopped taking applications
and that’s why we are playing it safe right now,” he said.
Tyson McCloud can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.