Budget Allovation Committee Distributes Funds

As the 2013-2014 academic year comes to a close, Colgate’s Budget Allocation Committee (BAC) has concluded its work for the year. By fulfilling the majority of monetary requests applied for by numerous groups on campus, the BAC funds most of Colgate’s events as well as the organizations that run them. Looking at the published breakdown of their allocations, students and staff can see where their money is going and for what it is going towards.

Within the four major advising departments, the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI) received the majority of BAC funds, as they acquired 74 percent of all funds this year ($677,147). This is related to the fact that CLSI itself accounts for 109 groups on campus, while the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE) (eight percent), Chaplains Office (eight percent) and the Africana, Latin American, Asian American and Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center (ten percent) only have 63 groups between the three of them.

Even with the CLSI office obtaining such a large amount of the BAC’s budget, the largest average proposal per group was given to the Chaplains Office, as its mean allocation was $8,909 compared to $6,212 by CLSI, $5,828 by ALANA and $2,012 by the COVE.

And when broken down by category, it is apparent that entertainment events received the highest distribution of funds, equaling 26 percent of the BAC’s budget. The “cultural” and “media” categories also received considerably high amounts, totaling 18 percent when added together, while the “service,” “religious” and “career development” groupings took home an equivalent quantity.

The slight inequality of funds based on category can be explained as a result of a disproportionately high number of proposals for purely entertainment value due to an interest in keeping campus amused with enjoyable events. These desired events include the comedians, bands, magicians and club series that happen on campus throughout the year. Thus, the categories of funding are run by the students’ system of supply and demand.

When viewing the rest of the budget statistics, it is clear that the BAC funded many different student groups, all with diverse needs and requests. According to President of the BAC senior Josh Lasker, the committee works diligently to support student group proposals as much as possible and tries to prevent many denials.

“There were only eight outright denials this year due to unresolved issues. These ranged from a refusal to accommodate the BAC’s two-week rule to a sanction from failing to attend leaders meetings. There was one fairly large denial based upon failure of the event to align with the group’s mission statement,” Lasker said.

As a fully student-run organization, the BAC must balance the wants and needs of other student groups, yet also adhere to the funding procedures of the university itself, contributing to an ongoing

delicate relationship.

Contact Kelsey Soderberg at [email protected].