In the final SGA meeting of the semester, SGA’s Vice President for Finance, Danielle Hopkins BC ’21, presented the budget for the next academic year.

Welcome to the final SGA meeting of the semester! As usual, the meeting started off with introductions and external announcements.

Emily Ndiokho BC ‘22, VP for Policy, asked everyone to be on the lookout for information about the policy committee’s resource hubs and to watch the Campus Affairs page for information about CARES.

Parker Watts BC ‘22, Representative for Inclusive Initiatives, informed people that the graduate students’ union would be holding a teach-in about Black labor at the university on April 15th.

Audrey Pettit BC ‘22, Junior Class President, announced that care packages are being mailed out very soon and should arrive by the end of the month.

Bannon Beall BC ‘22, Representative for Food and Dining, said that she could be contacted if anyone needs help securing accommodations for Ramadan, which began on April 12th.

SGA election results were announced earlier today, and the incoming representatives were invited to introduce themselves.

Steely Forrestor, BC ‘24, is the incoming Representative for Academic Affairs.

Miso Kim, BC ‘22, is the incoming Senior Campus Life Vice President.

Faye Wang, BC ‘23, is the incoming Junior Class Vice President.

Mariame Sissiko, BC ‘24, is the incoming Representative for Inclusive Affairs.

Christina Juste, BC ‘22, is the incoming Vice President for Equity.

Swati Madankumar, BC ‘22, is the incoming Representative of Campus Affairs.

Ariel Wu, BC ‘23, is the incoming Representative for Seven Sisters Relations.

The main event of the meeting was Danielle Hopkins BC ‘21, VP for Finance, giving the presentation on SGA’s budget for the 2021-2022 academic year.

First, Hopkins presented a review of the SGA budget for the past year, which ended up totaling $251,000, significantly less than usual. This change is due to the pandemic, as a lack of campus life for a majority of the year ended up saving SGA a lot of money. The money that was saved ended up going to the SGA relief fund; participants were identified through the CARES Act.

Hopkins then explained the budget for the upcoming year. First, she presented the amounts that would be allotted for SGA’s internal operations. For general SGA operations (including the spring retreat, the Green Fund, Morningside Fund, and the Co-Sponsorship Fund), the budget will be $16,550.

For class councils, the budget will total $38,000, with the senior council getting $11,000, the junior council getting $8,000, the sophomore council getting $5,500, and the freshman council getting $3,500.

For committees, including Intercollegiate Relations, Inclusion and Equity, Food Advisory Board, and Arts and Culture, the budget will total $45,000.

As for other organizations, including Skip Stop, Bulletin, Spirit Day, and the McIntosh Activities Council, the budget will be $75,600.

In total, SGA’s internal budget for the next year will equal $166,025.

Speaking next of the external budget, Hopkins expressed criticism of the way that F@CU (Finance @ Columbia University) is currently organized. She believes that the allocations should be made by faculty advisors of the governing boards that come together to budget during F@CU, rather than having student representatives of the governing boards do it. She called the current set-up of F@CU inappropriate and toxic, and expressed hope that her successor in the role of VP for Finance would follow through on her commitment to change the way F@CU is run.

Overall, SGA is able to give $185,000 to next year’s F@CU.

SGA is currently budgeting $50,000 to Bacchanal and $10,000 to JCCC.

The total external budget for the next year will be $270,000.

Combining the internal and external budgets, SGA’s total budget for 2021-2022 comes out to $436,025. This represents a slight increase from the 2019-2020 budget.

Image via Bwog Archives.