USG budget increases, focuses on activities

Melissa Dilley

At the Undergraduate Student Government summer retreat last month, members set initiatives, proposed programs and planned what to do with a $187,432 budget – the highest it’s ever been.

Executive Director Scott Sherwood said the budget is higher than in previous years because they are making cutbacks and using the money for more productive purposes. Last year’s budget totaled $174,882.

Because getting students involved on campus was a major factor in last semester’s elections, Sherwood said all 25 members discussed how to spend the money with student participation in mind. One idea the members are working on is having an award system that would register points to Flashcards every time students attend on-campus events. Sherwood said students with the most points would win prizes.

Members also suggested sponsoring club sports teams, such as hockey and rugby, to increase participation.

“It’s expensive to pay for club teams, and we want to get people involved,” Sherwood said.

Club teams currently pay for their own uniforms, travel expenses and venues. USG is interested in covering dues for club teams as well as the cost of home games at an estimated $15,000.

To fund such award programs and club teams, Sherwood said some costs had to be cut. They will get rid of the phones in the student organizations offices to save an estimated $9,000. Sherwood said he is searching for other offices that could go without phones.

Sherwood said Flash Flix, the student organized video rental booth in the Student Center, hasn’t gone over as well as they’d hoped since it’s opening early this year and will likely be a casualty of the cuts.

“Flash Flix is up in the air right now,” he said. “If it’s still around next semester we will definitely cut back on the amount of movies offered.”

The next time USG members plan to meet is during Week of Welcome, after which weekly meetings will be held to finalize budget plans and organize programs.

Contact news editor Melissa Dilley at [email protected].