Clubs leave $17,000 unspent of this quarter’s funding allocations

Written By Sabrina Bodon

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With less than a week left in the spring semester funding period, clubs and organizations have only spent approximately $5,900 of the $22,750 allocated by Point Park’s student government.

Amber Mole, the United Student Government (USG) treasurer, announced the number at Monday’s meeting after a senator asked for the number last week. 

When announced, the number raised a few eyebrows.

“We’re expecting over $10,000 back for next funding period?” senator Bobby Bertha asked.

To this, Dean of Students Keith Paylo, advisor to USG, spoke up.

“If you do the quick math, there’s a lot of money being left on the table,” Paylo said. “Please encourage your organizations and clubs to spend the money they are very worthy of having…they went through the process to get this allocated.”

If the money is not spent, the money previously allocated to clubs will roll back into USG’s budget for the next funding period, the last of the school year. Following the final funding period’s allocations, the money will cease to be USG’s and will not be eligible to transfer over into its budget for the 2016-17 school year.

During the meeting, the Rules Committee brought two resolutions to be added to the USG constitution for the legislative body to workshop regarding supplemental funding and the relationship between USG and the Office of Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL).

“The basic idea behind this is these are two very important pieces of legislation, so I wanted to bring it to the legislative body to actively workshop it to make it the best it can,” USG Parliamentarian Charles Murria said during the meeting.

The Rules Committee’s discussion focused heavily on the definition of the phrase “supplemental funding.”

“What we decided in Rules Committee is that supplemental funding is more of an emergency fund, should it be necessary that prices change on a club after their budgets have already been approved,” Bertha said.

This amendment, though not yet passed or fully established in USG’s constitution, would create a supplemental emergency fund of $700 – $1,500 for clubs to use. The usage of this fund would be on a case-by-case basis and would go toward clubs that have fully exhausted its appeal process, at the discretion of the legislative body.

In the workshopping period, the legislative body made note of the range for the emergency budget. There were several questions offered to the Rules Committee to consider, including pre-planning to set the emergency fund aside and how often the fund will be replenished.

The second resolution in development outlines the relationship between USG and SAIL.

A bylaw of this resolution would allow for SAIL to redistribute the already approved USG-allocated budget to fit the need of a club or organization.

“In the past, USG has had it so that organizations would have to come to USG to basically shift money from different accounts, if you will, for different events,” USG Vice President Gabe Dubin said. “That could be problematic. What this legislation is alluding to is just giving SAIL the power.”

Both resolutions were sent back to committee to be discussed more in depth and with the general discussion the legislative body had to offer in mind.

USG President Blaine King spoke of the various events and plans USG has in store for the final months of the semester.

Referencing past issues and finding solutions, USG is set to release both the Wi-Fi and Trader Joe’s shuttle surveys on social media in the coming weeks to better assess the student body’s needs

Forum is scheduled for the end of March while Pioneer Community Day is scheduled for April. The city of Pittsburgh has approved a permit to clear a city block for the event.

The USG election period is also approaching. Campaigns are set to begin in March and voting is scheduled for the third week of April.

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