Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

SGA faces student organization appeals worth double allocated budget

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Kellyn Taylor

Nandan Nair, the Student Government Association’s (SGA) executive treasurer, opened the Feb. 2 meeting with an alarming issue that will shape many of the SGA’s remaining efforts this semester: Emerson organizations have appealed for $82,684 in additional costs to fund their clubs despite the remaining appeals budget sitting slightly over $42,000. 

SGA’s appeal budget for the 2023-24 academic year is $100,000, with $57,608 already being given to organizations in response to their fall-semester appeals. Of these appeals, Alpha Epsilon Phi’s Ribbons on the Runway philanthropy fashion show and Flawless Brown’s 10th Anniversary trip both requested and received over $10,000. Additional groups like the Communication Politics and Law Association’s Washington D.C. trip and the Common Collective’s Barcelona Summit received over $7,000 each. 

Demand for additional funds remains high in the spring semester as Nair announced multiple appeals have already been filed. QuadBall is appealing for $20,000 to go to nationals, EBONI is appealing for $10,000 for their 55th anniversary, WECB is appealing for $10,000 in additional funding, Frames per Second is appealing for $8,700 for their film festival, and Jimmy’s Travelling All Stars is appealing for $8,300 for their Los Angeles trip.

As the SGA General Assembly prepares to vote on each appeal, Nair encourages members to ask questions and be thorough in their approval process. 

“It’s really important that we’re all intentional and targeted in how we approach the upcoming appeals, especially any appeals above $5,000,” he said. “We [should] ask as many questions as possible.”

Additionally, Nair raised concerns over the EVVY’s and the amount they will “imminently” request. 

“We met with them recently and that appeal is most definitely going to be over $20,000,” said Nair. 

The EVVY’s potential demand for a large portion of the remaining appeals budget means that other appeals will have to be denied. 

“There is a $40,000 excess of appeals that we cannot accept,” Nair said.

Annual budget request appeals opened Feb. 1 and will close Feb. 25, with SGA voting on the appeals at every Friday general assembly meeting, beginning Feb. 9.

Juwaria Jama, executive vice president of SGA, then turned the attention of the meeting over to new interest group applications and concerns of oversaturation in terms of managing resources and equipment, specifically with department-affiliated organizations. 

Matthew Guerber, SGA’s performing arts senator, raised a specific concern over the number of theatre troupes and organizations. Jama waived concerns, attributing the solution to the application process. 

“I feel like because we have departments that are so big, we have a lot of student organizations that end up feeling very similar because there’s like 10 comedy troupes and then 10 performing arts groups,” Jama said. “And it feels like a lot. One of the questions we put on the application is, ‘How do you differentiate yourself from other organizations?’” 

These questions, Jama said, attempt to prevent an oversaturation of similar organizations from overwhelming SGA and Student Engagement and Leadership budgets, allocation of resources, and access to spaces and equipment.

New interest groups will be notified of their approval or denial by March 25.  

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About the Contributor
Katherine Cressman, Staff Writer
Katherine is a freshman journalism major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. When she is not writing you can find her singing in Achoired Taste, playing tennis, or watching cat videos on TikTok.

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