BAC Funds Already Gone

The Budget Allocation Committee (BAC) has run out of money.

Though student-run events will continue for the remainder of the semester, future student groups seeking funds will face earlier deadlines, a stricter proposal process, and more extensive budget forecasts.

The BAC receives funds from the student activities fee, a $110 charge that each student pays every semester. The $300,000 that the fee raises is distributed among SGA recognized groups to fund speakers, events, activities and trips. The fund also pays the wages of the students who work at the travel desk and for SA Sound, the group responsible for providing sound equipment at student-sponsored events.

According to BAC Treasurer Chris Woodyard, dividing up the funds is “never easy.”

The funds are allocated based on set percentages and student proposals.

For example, at the beginning of the semester groups including CUTV, WRCU, the four Class Councils, the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education and The Maroon News automatically receive funding.

In total, about $150,000 was spent before the Committee even began reviewing proposals for events this term.

The rest of the funds were allocated based on proposals.

“It’s hard to say no to groups,” Woodyard said. “Every meeting we had was a full meeting. We were interested in funding events in full, rather than only giving them partial funding and leaving them to fend for themselves. We think it’s important to show support.”

“It’s not always easy,” he added. “We have denied proposals.”

Woodyard offered a list of various events that the BAC funded this term, including: a Colgate Resolutions trip to New York City, a Breast Cancer Awareness cocktail party, Latin heritage month events, a Bacchus trip to a national assembly in Florida, Colgate student theatre events and many others.

“There was initial concern [about exhausting the funds], but we funded an enormous number of events,” Woodyard said.

Woodyard said that, while the BAC is doing the best with what it has, there just isn’t enough money to go around.

“Last year between 20 and 25 new groups received SGA recognition. The activities fee often doesn’t cover new groups. It only goes up incrementally with inflation,” Woodyard said. “A $10 increase in the Student Activities Fee would translate to an additional $27,000 dollars.”

“It’s not easy [to get more money put into the budget],” Woodyard said. “Every academic department wants more money too, but we’re looking into it heavily.”

Woodyard also explained that the BAC is considering tightening up the proposal process.

“Next semester we might try to make it more of a request process than a proposal process. We’ll ask for more specifics, having groups explain what makes the event unique, for instance, and we’ll consider how well they answer the questions,” he said. “The process right now is far too vague. Also, we want to begin requiring the percentage-basis groups to submit a report of where the money went.”

Woodyard encouraged groups to start planning for next semester now.

“The BAC will be meeting to allocate funds for the spring on Sunday, November 20 and Sunday, December 4,” he said. “We want to get groups rolling and show them that forward thinking is important.”

Despite the current lack of additional funding, activities will still be happening around campus.

“We’ve been walking a very thin line on what to fund. Unfortunately, the money runs out,” he said.