Now that we are fast approaching the end of the semester, the Executive Board is preparing for “Budgeting Season.” The Board is responsible for reviewing budgets for everything supported by the Union, especially intercollegiate athletics, clubs/organizations, and facilities. The 15 members of the E-Board are each assigned between eight and 12 Union-funded student organizations and one or two varsity athletic teams to work with. In addition to Board representatives, there are also eight Student Activities Resource Persons, who are Union staff members that help oversee these same organizations. The Institute’s athletic department assists in overseeing Varsity Athletics.
Our budgeting sessions are split into two large chunks, the first being the ICA/Varsity Athletics, Facilities and Administrative budgets, and this is scheduled during study days December 12–13. By this time, Executive Board members will have met with their respective coaches and give insight and information in areas of athletics budgets that may not be fully understood by the Board. This extra information allows the Board to better understand the funding process for each ICA sport and make more informed decisions.
The second portion of budgeting focuses on over 115 clubs and organizations funded and supported by the Union. Executive Board members take time out of their winter break, coming back the Friday before spring classes begin to review these budgets. Club budgets are due on December 20 and can be submitted through the Club Management System. This is extremely important to any club that is approved for funding and is looking to get a budget approved for the upcoming fiscal year. Working with your respective Executive Board member is an integral part of the budgeting process. E-Board members have both knowledge and expertise in budgeting and Union policies and are responsible for helping clubs create a budget that allows them to function properly, without spending on unnecessary or excess items. E-Board members review club budgets to have a thorough understanding of club needs, priorities, history, and events. This knowledge is what the Executive Board will use to answer any questions it may have during budgeting reviews. During the reviews, E-Board representatives will be the advocates for their respective clubs, presenting the information they have received from club officers. Make sure you meet with your representative so that you can take advantage of this extra support.
During the review process, the Executive Board representatives and SARPs sit down and review each budget, literally line-by-line, of each Union-funded club. Some programs will be approved, some will be partially approved, and others may be denied. Overall, the main goal of budgeting is in line with the overall goal of the Executive Board, which is to support student activities; help provide funding for student clubs, organizations, and sports; and make sure each student gets the most out of the student activity, without cost inflation.
After the budgeting reviews are finished, budgets are released and clubs have an opportunity to appeal any decisions made. This gives each club a chance to present to the E-Board outside of a weekly meeting and ask or defend any budget change it feels is necessary to function properly.
I will be writing again in the spring semester to update how budgeting has progressed. If you have any questions about the Union or the E-Board, contact me at email@example.com.