The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Government budget decisions frustrate club leadership

Photo by Ari Ismail for The Lafayette
Clubs experiencing budget shortfalls have been forced to question whether or not all of their planned events can go on as scheduled this semester.

Student Government recently decided on official budgets for the fall semester, frustrating many clubs and their executive boards. Multiple budget shortfalls have left clubs without all of their requested funding, rendering clubs unable to operate to the extent that they had hoped.

“They did not give us enough money to be able to play all of our away games,” Lily Kubany ’25, the president of the women’s club soccer team, said. According to Kubany, the club requested $800 for transportation and received $400. 

The ultimate frisbee team experienced similar frustrations with its allocated budget. One of its biggest events of the season, High Tide, is a tournament in South Carolina during spring break, and the team was left on the hook for cars and other expenses related to the tournament. 

“Because we’re students, we don’t have that much money to be able to afford the cars, and the cars are the only thing that [Student Government] pays for,” Sara O’Keefe ‘24, the captain of the ultimate frisbee team, said. “We pay for everything else through our money.” 

“It’s this vicious cycle of not being able to succeed as a club sport,” Kubany said.

Christo Maheras ‘26, who co-chairs the Student Government Budget Committee, said that Student Government faces systemic restrictions and a very limited budget to allocate amongst all clubs.

“We get the funds from the Student Activity Fee … [which] gives us about $860,000 to work with,” Maheras said. “$200,000 of that is taken out immediately through an agreement that happened way before any of [us were students] with the Office of Student Involvement to pay for class year events.” 

From there, Student Government follows a methodical process to determine fund allocation, according to Maheras.

“We allocate based off of one, priority and two, need,” Maheras said. “For a lot of clubs, we pay their registration fees or things like that … We typically do that in full because if you don’t have your registration fees, you can’t participate.”

Kubany said that the only budget request that was entirely fulfilled for her club was its league dues.

However, the increase in student clubs every year and limited resources means that Student Government’s funds continue to be stretched further and further, leaving fiscal restraint as a last resort. 

“At the current rate, if we keep dipping into our reserves, there’s going to be none by the end of next year,” Maheras warned. 

Recently, Student Government took a $3,000 retreat to the Pocono Mountains, and only six members of Student Government showed up – there were 24 members of Student Government at the time. According to Maheras, the money used to fund the retreat came from the Student Activities Fee.

With the COVID spike and certain people having some last-minute extenuating circumstances, we had a bit fewer people attend than we were initially expecting,” Olivia Puzio ‘25, President of Student Government, said about the retreat.

Maheras added that there is an emergency expenditures procedure that exists for clubs to request money on a rolling basis, and they are more often than not approved, even if not in full.

“I think that our voices need to be heard more,” Kubany said. “It’s … difficult to be a full-functioning club with the budget we’ve been receiving.”

Disclaimer: Managing Editor Trebor Maitin ’24 serves as the Student Government parliamentarian. He did not contribute writing or reporting.

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About the Contributors
William Gutiérrez
William Gutiérrez, Staff Culture Writer
bang energy afficionado.
Ari Ismail
Ari Ismail, Staff Photographer

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