KIC budget oversight creates $68K debt

Steven Harbaugh

Two years of a budgetary misunderstanding at Kent Interhall Council has resulted in a $68,000 deficit. The error, which was caught last semester, is being paid back each semester with a goal to pay back the amount in full by Spring 2006.

The money, which is already being paid back this semester, comes from the fees allocated to KIC from students who live in the residence halls. This Spring semester operating budget was $119,475.

Sixteen dollars is allocated to KIC for each student who lives in the residence halls — and a smaller portion of that amount will go toward paying off the $68,000.

KIC has two accounts that contain the funding for the organization. Previous boards misunderstood that money transferred from one account to the next — causing a negative amount to accumulate and not be clearly noted as negative on the university financial software called the monthly Financial Records System.

Despite the oversight, KIC’s current board is enacting necessary measures to correct it and ensure it doesn’t happen again, said KIC President Scott McCallen.

“We always budget out our money very conservatively,” McCallen said. “It wasn’t that we were spending too much money or buying things we didn’t need to buy, it was a simple oversight.”

The organization’s outdated financial software is also to blame, said Joshua Causey, KIC director of business operations.

The group hopes to revamp its software and encourage better training on how to use the financial system, Causey said.

Students should be concerned with what happens to their money, Causey said. But he asserted it is also important to notice that this problem will only affect a small fraction of student dollars.

McCallen was initially shocked when the problem was discovered, but the organization has been able to work around the debt by paying it back in increments on a payment plan.

Student programs have not been cut, McCallen said. KIC is still offering its trademark events like Lil Sibs Weekend, Spirit of the Halls and Thro-n-Go.

“It was a learning experience,” McCallen said. “Now, KIC will promote and encourage a higher level of accountability in the future.”

Contact religion and culture reporter Steven Harbaugh at [email protected].