Written by Shambree Wartel
Money doesn’t grow on trees—we all know that.
That’s why when the RAs from Centennial Hall requested $1,000 for food for an upcoming carnival, despite the fact that they had their own designated budget , SGA was right in denying the funding.
The role of SGA is to serve as a liaison between the students and VSU, not as a money tree.
It’s true that campus organizations have needs, and most of those needs require financial assistance, but If SGA were to give in to every whim and request from every organization on campus, they would not only not be able to fund anybody—they’d be in debt themselves.
SGA President Ryan Baerwalde felt that the denial for Centennial Hall funding was necessary to stop the widespread belief that SGA was an open bank for student organizations.
For the past three years that I have served in SGA, I have witnessed dozens of student organizations come to SGA asking for financial help, and there was rarely any resistance to obliging these groups,” Baerwalde said. “Thankfully, this year I have seen more thought put into our funding.”
That being said, it is the duty of SGA to not only keep the student’s best interests in mind, but to serve its student’s responsibly—especially concerning financial decisions.
SGA’s current policy on funding events limits the funding amount to $500, but can be overridden with a 3/4ths vote.
Five hundred dollars should be enough to meet whatever need the organization has, especially if it’s not purely recreational. If not, and their event is important enough, then they need to show enough initiative to collect the rest of the needed funds in a fundraiser of some sort.
We’re not saying that SGA should act like the big bad wolf per se, but we agree that SGA should only give funds to organizations that a, plan to use the funds for more than recreational purposes, and b, don’t already have a budget that includes funds from student fees.
Events are required to be open to all students and to have a detailed list as to how they are spending the money. Organizations are also required to send excess funds back to SGA.
Auditors from the University System of Georgia enforce these policies and make sure that money is spent and allocated appropriately.
We feel this is an effective rule– this way the money not spent by the organization won’t fall in between the tracks.
“I’m sure we will see more progress in our fiscal responsibility before the year ends,” Baerwalde said.
Receiving funding is a privilege, not a right. So organizations need to understand that SGA is a ruling body, and not daddy’s open wallet.