SG approves budget with $47,000 decrease

Student Government unanimously passed its 2008-09 budget Wednesday night with an overall  decrease of over $47,000.

While the change is significantly less than the $130,000 decrease from the year before, SG wasn’t hit too hard, said SG President Tyler Montell.

Student groups apply to SG for funding throughout the school year, which is why Montell said they increased the amount of funding for student organizations by $30,000. Montell said he knew that while SG was adjusting to the budget cut, more organizations would probably be reaching out for funding this year.

“(The state cuts) didn’t affect us directly, but it affected the places students usually go to for money,” Montell said.

This year, SG allocated for $114,750 to various campus services, about $33,000 less than in 2007-08.

Organizations like the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center and DanceBlue received funding. Montell said the decisions were made based on who he felt needed the money most.

“We gave DanceBlue $7,500 so that they don’t have to pay for silly things out of the donations that they raise,” Montell said.

A new item to receive SG money is the Innovation Incentive Project, a campus service that received $3,000. That money is reserved to buy iPods so organizations can purchase them and give them away as incentives to come to meetings that meet a set criterion and are deemed “diverse,” Montell said.

“There are a lot of cultural and diversity events on campus and a lot of students don’t go or feel they are supposed to go, “ Montell said. “We want them to go and maybe accidentally learn something.”

Many groups, like the Interfraternity Council, did not automatically receive money as a line item in this budget. Montell said this was an attempt to give the Senate more power over whether the group is granted funding, since those groups will have to request the money from the Appropriations and Revenue Committee.

“This is one of the things we wanted to transfer to the Senate,” Montell said.

Each year, SG receives funds from three sources to make up their budget. The university and student fees contribute, and SG has a self-generated fund.

SG acquired revenue in addition to the student fees money from University Directories, which approached SG and asked them to design and distribute planners specifically for UK. The planners took all the university calendars, like those for football and the academic calendar, and put them into one item, while University Directories sold the advertisements featured in the planner.  SG gave out 10,000 planners and the total revenue from them was $9,500.

Salaries for SG officials had some changes from last year. The Senate president will receive an additional $1,000, raising her salary to $4,000 a year. The salaries for chairmen of SG committees, however, were cut completely.

A new piece of legislation, the Senate Accountability Act, was also passed at the meeting. This act, written by the Senate as a whole, holds the senators responsible for their attendance at meetings and certain events that SG funds.

The Senate also approved nominations to the executive staff and the Senate.