Temple Student Government is responsible for managing the money of all student organizations. But TSG must also maintain its own operating budget, which pays for its initiatives and student events.
The allocations budget has $140,000 available for student organization spending. This money is funded by the General Activities fee all undergraduates pay each semester. It is allocated by the university after TSG’s allocations chairs requests university funding during the summer, said Chris Carey, TSG’s faculty adviser and director of Student Activities, who oversees TSG’s budgets.
TSG is allocated $21,000 for this year, Carey said. Any money spent by TSG for its sponsored events needs to be signed off by Carey, who ensures the money is only spent on “activities that benefit the student body,” he said.
TSG has already sponsored several initiatives so far this year for students like Community Day at the beginning of September and Sexual Assault Prevention Week two weeks ago.
Last April, Activate TU’s campaign spending was under investigation by the Elections Committee for a potential violation of spending after their campaign was suspended for an hour just before the polls closed. Former Elections Commissioner Noah Goff wrote a letter of dissent to Carey and the Elections Committee expressing concern about Activate TU’s campaign expenditures. Their spending was ultimately found to be within the bounds of the Elections Code.
Student Body President Tyrell Mann-Barnes, Vice President of Services Kayla Martin and Vice President of External Affairs Paige Hill hold weekly meetings with Carey to discuss the budget. TSG’s Treasurer Melisa Yetkin is also responsible for tracking spending.
TSG Communications Director Sarah Madaus declined an interview with Yetkin because Yetkin is still getting acquainted with the budget in her position. Yetkin has been the TSG treasurer since May 2017.
This semester, the only large costs TSG has faced have been from hosting Sexual Assault Prevention Week, Carey said. TSG spent nearly $1,000 on the week-long series of events, Madaus said. The programs cost nearly $8,000, but because TSG partnered with other university organizations, TSG only incurred about a $1,000 cost.
“[TSG] spending in past years has connected back to directors that want to implement those different initiatives,” he added. “Most of the items that the senior leadership team planned for over the summer related to Sexual Assault Prevention Week.”
TSG lowers event costs by collaborating with other entities like student organizations and campus departments, Carey said.
TSG worked with Campus Safety Services to implement Community Day last month, incurred no additional costs and collaborated with several student organizations during Sexual Assault Prevention Week. By collaborating with other organizations, TSG can share event costs.
External events like Owls on the Hill, a yearly program that brings student representatives to Harrisburg to lobby for Temple’s state funding, are funded by administrative offices, Carey said.
Mann-Barnes, Hill and Martin attended Temple’s football game against Notre Dame at the beginning of September. That trip was sponsored by Temple’s alumni relations department, Carey said.
“I have the end oversight of the budget because anything they spend needs to be signed off on by a faculty member,” he added. “But they’re very good stewards of the funds available.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story reported that TSG’s Treasurer Melisa Yetkin has been in her position since May 2016. She was appointed in May 2017, not 2016 and has been corrected to reflect the accurate information.