The annual budget was in question at the Oklahoma Christian University Student Government Association (SGA) meeting Wednesday, Oct. 4. Members of SGA expressed concern regarding their budget for “other bodies,” or the money allocated toward student funding requests.
Senior Kale Thomas presented a funding request to the SGA, for a portion of the money needed for a group of eight children’s ministry students to attend the Children’s Pastoral Conference 2018 (CPC18) Jan. 16-18 in Orlando, FL. Thomas’ request would cover 75 percent of the cost of the trip, which would total $2,656.
According to SGA Treasurer Taylor Dotson, the total funding SGA receives each semester varies depending on the number of students there are on campus. This semester, Dotson said SGA received a little over $47,000. SGA then divides this money into each committee and other categories.
Dotson said SGA sets aside $8,000 each semester to student organizations needing financial assistance to attend conferences and other student-led causes. SGA has already spent $5,000 of the budget to assist in these endeavors.
Previously granted funding requests include: the Oklahoma Christian Baja Project, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) trip to the PRSSA National Conference in Boston, MA. and the Eagle’s Health Initiative Fitness Challenge.
If SGA voted to approve the funding of the CPC18 conference trip, the spending would nearly finish off the rest of the other bodies budget. Therefore, SGA would not be able to accept any other funding requests for the rest of this semester.
According to Thomas, SGA helped fund the trip for the past five years, but the previous year only covered 50 percent. Additionally, senior Jared King said SGA has helped all five of this years’ funding requests in previous years.
Dotson said the current bylaws state SGA will fund no more than 80 percent of a project or $500 per person. However, she said a bylaw is coming which will address this issue.
“There was a funding request rule that was put on the [request form] that said that we would match student fundraising,” Dotson said. “Some people interpreted that as a 50 percent rule, but there is not 50 percent rule. That was just kind of the previous treasurers’ preference. So, we have to withhold the bylaws, but we are looking to change it to where we only match student fundraising and student involvement.”
Following the budget report, SGA members voted to deny the funding request. According to Dotson, SGA will allow Thomas and the children’s ministry students to come back to the next SGA meeting and request a lesser amount if they desire.
Additional information about the meeting and general information about the Oklahoma Christian SGA can be found online.