The Youngstown State University Student Government Association has a budget of $32,383 that it can give to student organizations each academic year. As of Monday night, SGA had distributed all of it to 70 different causes, including conferences, competitions, fundraisers and the like.
Student Government President Cory Okular said SGA usually runs low on appropriation funds, which come from the Office of Student Life, by the spring semester.
SGA has requested a $25,000 annual increase for the next five years to dole out funds to more organizations. The proposal will be introduced at the next YSU Board of Trustees meeting.
Though SGA does many fundraisers, the proceeds all go to charity. Okular said that none of the money raised from such endeavors goes into the SGA budget.
“It illustrates the need for the budget to be augmented to fulfill needs of student groups,” he said. “The amount of groups asking for appropriations right now is startling.”
He said most departments on campus can’t afford to fund student organizations, so these groups come to SGA for help.
One group that received a large amount of money from SGA was the YSU chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, which was appropriated $1,700.
Theodore Bosela, NECA adviser and a professor of engineering technology at YSU, said the group used the money to fund a trip to the Green Energy Challenge, held in Las Vegas in September. There, the group won first place in the Green Energy Challenge.
The amount of money given to each organization depends on the amount asked for and the reason for doing so. Some organizations return leftover funds or reimburse SGA. Others don’t pay anything back.
“We will still give everyone a fair amount of money that needs it, however. We don’t want to turn anyone down,” Okular said.
Last year, YSU’s student organizations asked for more than $180,000 in appropriations. This year, SGA predicts that the number will rise to more than $200,000. Kent State University’s student government gets roughly $300,000 a year in appropriations.
“We can only give out what we have, despite them asking for these amounts of money,” Okular said.