Not Enough Pieces of the Pie
Due to budget cuts across campus, the student activity fund has been decreased for the fourth year in a row (Vista Archives).
The University of Central Oklahoma’s 2017 budget is projecting a $171,000 decrease in the Student Activity Fund since last year. The decrease marks the fourth consecutive year of budget loss.
“We continue to see an increase in the amount requested, so we think there is still room for it to grow,” said Associate Vice President of the Wellness Center and Student Support Cole Stanley. ” I would anticipate in the near future we’re going to have to look at” ‘does the student activity fee need to go up a little bit to accommodate for the requests.'”
The SAF budget decreased 5.5 percent since Fiscal Year 2013-2014. The budget saw in FY2014-2015 a loss of $14,250 about 12 times less than this year’s loss.
There are four different budget sections within it. The Entertainment/Education budget, Athletics, Tickets, and Events budget, Student scholarships, and Student Organizations. Each of the four sections decreased from last year with the Entertainment/ Education Budget losing the most at $61,704. Athletics, Tickets, and Events budget is the biggest of the four with $1,845,932, but still lost $91,268 last year.
UCOSA determines what program or activities budgets increase or decrease. Individual UCO students enrollment rates determine each year how much the budget gets.
For the 2017 fall semester, UCO students are charged $14.25 per credit hour for student activity funds. The minimal charge for student activity fees for a full-time student is $171 per semester.
“In the student activity fee world our budgets are more connected to credit hours earned versus actual head count,” said Stanley.
Of the $14.25 it gets divided into four different groups with athletics getting the biggest share of $7.63. The other three groups, UCOSA, the University Wide Committee, and Student Affairs Operating Offices, get a $6.62.
With the cuts, the Athletic Trainers lost $105,000, Although now the fund is covered now by the General Education Budget known as the “E&G” budget.
The Greek Programming Board’s also was cut down to zero by the new SAF budge from$15,000. Now their money is held by the FSL office. The council makes sure the greek programming board has the money they need for Greek-life events.
“They can request what they need from the Fraternity and Sorority Life Council,” UCOSA President Stockton Duvall told the Vista.
The unemployment rate in Oklahoma tends to have an impact on the state of enrollment for UCO. In August of 2010, unemployment rates were at one of its all-time highest marks at 9.5% and Oklahoma’s at 6.6%. UCO’s fall enrollment increased to 17,101 students a thousand more than the previous fall semester.
“If enrollment is up great. That helps with the student activity fee,” said Stanley.
UCO’s enrollment numbers will be finalized and released in September.