The Student Activities Council unanimously passed its 2011-2012 budget on Wednesday night.
In the wake of a moratorium on new student group funding, SAC distributed funds to more than 200 student groups this year, utilizing its $931,293 budget allocated by the Undergraduate Assembly, according to College junior and SAC chairman Vinay Rao. This year’s budget marks about a five percent increase from last year’s.
Rao said that this year’s allocations were “very successful,” especially in light of the moratorium which served to maintain a stable number of current SAC-recognized student groups.
“We have the optimal amount of groups … and [can] fund our current groups in full,” he said.
Throughout the spring semester, SAC has been working on a new debt policy, constitution and funding guidelines which will be presented and voted on by the SAC General Body this fall.
“All three things are meant to attack problems we’ve had in the past,” Rao said.
He cited taking a fixed percentage from the reserve fund to prevent excess spending as well as making student groups more accountable for their debt as two important initiatives that will be a part of SAC’s planned reform next year.
Rao hopes that these new policies and a positive evaluation of the reserve fund over the summer after students groups have submitted their final spending receipts will allow SAC to lift its moratorium as soon as possible.
Lifting the moratorium “has always been my agenda and it’s something that all the Executive Board has been looking forward to doing,” Rao said, adding that “the prospect of [it] being lifted in the fall is likely.”
Although many groups were satisfied with their funding this year, 15 groups who were not granted their full funding requests decided to go through an appeal process. Three of the groups pursued a two-step appeal where they addressed the SAC Executive board, were denied funding and re-appealed their funding request to the SAC General Body on Wednesday night.
Kite and Key Society appealed its allocation because they received $200 in contrast to their $1,330 request. According to both Rao and College senior and Kite and Key Society Treasurer Mo Shahin, the initial grant resulted from a miscommunication, however the organization was ultimately denied full funding from the SAC General Body on Wednesday.
“Obviously it’s disappointing but it’s something that can be overcome,” Shahin said. “I think the important thing is … to keep the lines of communication open [with SAC].”
Shahin also mentioned that Kite and Key Society will be approaching other funding sources as well.
Penn Latin and Ballroom Dance also went through the two-step appeal process.
PLBD has received $2,080 this year even after the appeal process, in contrast to $3,750 it has received in recent years, Wharton and College junior Danielle Fiorino, who is treasurer of PLBD, said.
Although Fiorino said “SAC has a tough job,” she was ultimately “disappointed that we didn’t get the status quo that we normally get but we will hopefully show [SAC] that we need that funding for next year.”