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 should set an example for other organizations’: SGA cuts own budget, approves annual budget requests

Kellyn Taylor

In a shift away from last week’s meeting, which featured President Jay Bernhardt’s attendance and a discussion surrounding the March 22 arrests, the Student Government Association’s April 5 meeting focused largely on annual budget requests (ABR), candidates in the upcoming SGA election, and voting on the approval of new organizations. 

SGA is no stranger to making budget cuts and receiving ABRs and appeal requests well over the allocated budget. To avoid falling into a deficit, Nandan Nair, executive treasurer of SGA, opened the meeting with a suggestion to make significant cuts to SGA’s budget. 

He explained that SGA’s operating budget for this year, $60,000, is equally split between SGA activities, like catering and events, and the ERA awards. In terms of making cuts, Nair proposed cutting $33,000 from SGA’s budget for next year. This, he explained, would save money for other organizations without affecting SGA’s ability to operate as normal. 

“SGA should set an example for other organizations,” Nair continued.

The proposed budget cut went to a vote and passed unanimously. 

Another organization facing cuts to its ABR, Films from the Margin, saw more than half of its budget cut. Nair explained that Films from the Margin did not receive a budget from SGA this year after failing to fill out an ABR last year, leading them to appeal for $3,000 in the fall appeals process. However, Nair continued, they spent more money than they had, requiring an additional allocation from SGA to get them out of debt. After missing the initial Feb. 25 ABR deadline, they requested a budget of $6,200 for next year. 

“What we proposed is a $1,000 budget,” said Nair. “That way we can monitor them a bit more and make sure that they stabilize.” 

After a brief debate over whether the allocated $1,000 was too low to sustain the organization over both semesters, the budget was put to a vote and passed 4-3. 

Emerson Flows, one of the few organizations requesting a decrease in their ABR, was the next request facing SGA. Its budget this year was $880, but for the 2024-2025 academic year, they are only requesting $850. Nair highlighted the organization’s past accomplishments, including the supply of free menstrual products in all public bathrooms on Emerson’s Boston campus. The ABR was approved in a unanimous vote. 

Following several new organization applications, SGA members voted on which organizations to grant official recognized status. Asian American Journalists Association, Emerson International, and Baking Club were approved in unanimous votes, earning official recognized status by SGA. 

The meeting concluded with a discussion of the upcoming Internal Affairs election. The SGA Internal Affairs election will be from April 9 to April 11. The candidates for the position of SGA executive president are Nair and Owen Buxton. The candidate for the position of SGA executive vice president is Kayla Armbruster. The candidate for the position of SGA executive treasurer is Oliver Katz. Nair, Armbruster and Katz are running on a joint ballot. The election results will be announced at SGA’s April 12 meeting.

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About the Contributor
Katherine Cressman
Katherine Cressman, News Co-Editor
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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