USG debates budget issues

Kristen Vasas and Kristen Vasas

The Undergraduate Student Government budget for the 2007-2008 academic year was passed after only three senators objected to the new changes last night.

At the general meeting, USG discussed final allocations which were to be made to the budget before it was approved by the government.

The main issue discussed was the penalties that USG received after members of the student government didn’t attend the Student Leaders Retreat. Some representatives from USG had been scheduled to attend the retreat and because they did not inform officials in the Division of Student Affairs that they would not be attending in a timely manner, they could be penalized. The retreat, which is attended by representatives from organizations such as USG, University Activities Organization, Resident Student Association, Vision and The BG News, is meant to help the organizations come up with new ideas and plans for the year. Other organizations whose representatives missed the retreat may face similar charges.

USG would be penalized no more than $2,400 and this amount was included on the budget. Although they may not be charged in full, USG treasurer Shelly Adam said that they are ‘putting that amount aside in order to be conservative and prepare for the worst.’ If there is a remainder left after the penalties are paid for, the leftover money will be allocated into different sections of the budget.

President Johnnie Lewis said that if there is an excess of money after the penalties are paid for, he would like to use it for events and promotions. Lewis told USG members he would be meeting with Jeff Coats, associate dean of students, later this week to discuss the issue.

‘We had some really nice, flashy promotions,’ he said. ‘I’d really like to put some money back into [promotions] if we are able.’ Also, USG is now going to be a member of the American Student Government Association, which requires a fee of approximately $800. The association will give USG the chance to compare Bowling Green to any other institution involved in the ASGA, Lewis said.

Money will also be allocated toward conferences. USG is planning to attend conferences during the academic year and has allocated money toward travel costs and registration for those conferences.

In addition, the student government added a reserve to the budget of $1,530, which is intended to roll over to the next fiscal year.