Sunday night, the Undergraduate Assembly presented its 2011-12 budget.
Overall, the total UA budget will increase by 4.01 percent from last year to $1,923,377.
The proposed budget will increase funds for the Social Planning and Events Committee and the Student Activities Council, amongst others, and cutting funds for UA administration.
The Budget Committee proposed an approximately $40,000 increase in SPEC’s budget for next year.
“SPEC was underfunded in a lot of areas,” College senior and UA Treasurer Ali Huberlie said, in reference to the last budget. “We want SPEC to be able to operate at capacity to serve the most Penn students as possible.”
In addition to an increase in overall funding, Huberlie noted that the budget proposed for SPEC will allocate more money to SPEC’s contingency fund, which will allow for an “increased flexibility in how money can be spent.”
According to Huberlie, this flexibility is essential since SPEC is “dealing in the entertainment business, which is really unpredictable.”
The Budget Committee also proposed increased funds for the SAC, which currently maintains a temporary moratorium preventing the recognition and funding of new student groups for the spring semester.
The proposed $910,091 for SAC is “not a budget per se, they get what we don’t allocate,” College sophomore and Budget Committee member Jon Monfred said.
Although SAC receives the residuals of the UA budget, Huberlie — a former SAC chairwoman — noted that she was “keeping in the back of [my] head an ideal” financial situation for SAC.
Monfred explained that SAC’s funds this year hope to directly address student groups’ debt by possibly setting groups’ debts back to 0. SAC's potential plans for the future include charging groups out of their budgets for any debt they may incur, which would make student groups responsible for their spending.
Penn’s Medical Emergency Response Team — which previously received funding from the Student Activities Council — received a proposed lump sum grant of $13,875.
“Their budget and purpose is too big for SAC,” Monfred explained.
These newly available funds will allow MERT to buy medication, uniforms and equipment.
MERT’s funds will also allow members to attend mandatory training at the national Emergency Medical Services conference.
The Budget Committee also cut approximately $4,000 from UA operations and administrations cost. The money will instead go toward funding other Penn Student Government branches.
Huberlie said the Budget Committee took into account equity among PSG branches and their spending patterns in the past. They also sought to find creative solutions to funding and placed a special emphasis on environmental sustainability.
Huberlie added that the Budget Committee is “looking forward to the next couple weeks of debate and questioning.”
The budget will be finalized on Feb. 27 after PSG groups discuss their funding requests with the UA body on Feb. 20.
Note: This article was updated from its original version to reflect that the proposed increase in SPEC's budget was approximately $40,000, rather than $87,000, and to clarify Jon Monfred's comments on SAC's funding plans.Comments powered by Disqus
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