SGA Senate approves 2025 fiscal budget

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On Monday, April 22, at The SGA’s senate meeting, Rowan’s clubs voted to approve the fiscal year 2025 budget. 

The Student Government Association (SGA) released the 2025 budget on Saturday, April 20. Many clubs faced budget cuts this year that raised concern amongst students, while other clubs saw significant budget increases.

Finalized by the Student Financial Control Board and reviewed by the SGA executive committee, the budget is presented every year at the end of the spring semester to be voted on. The budget is determined by a budget hearing held before the senate meeting. This allows clubs to ask for the amount of money they need to operate in the upcoming school year. 

Held in the Chamberlain Student Center Eynon Ballroom, this year’s senate meeting opened with a call to order by President Brianna Reagan. The meeting went over executive announcements, unfinished business, and new business, and ended by opening the mic for student concerns. 

Under new business, the Senate voted on several matters including a vote on chartering new clubs. The Senate voted to charter all three petitioning clubs: Respiratory Therapy Club, Emerging Business Leaders Association, and Rowan Epic Movement. 

Next up, the SGA held a vote on the much-anticipated Fiscal year 2025 budget. The SGA’s financial control board proposed to cut several clubs’ budgets, including cutting The Whit’s by 35%. This was the hot-button topic of the night, which caused much discourse amongst voting members and attendees alike. 

SGA Chief Financial Officer Kavin Haldo went over the budget. 

“The first thing, how does the SGA actually get its money? During the spring semester, the budget office makes a prediction on next year’s enrollment, and based off of that prediction every student pays a student government fee every semester, which is $91 dollars and tax. All of that gets piled up together and split up between Rowan After Hours and SGA,” said Haldo. “SGA actually only gets about $40 to $50 of the $91.”

The SGA then subtracts money from the budget for things like their operating costs, Proflink, and staff pay. The remaining money goes to the more than 160 student clubs and organizations on campus and homecoming. Haldo made sure to mention that no clubs are entitled to funds. 

Then, Haldo went over the budget reductions for this year.

“Not great [he budget reductions]. We[SGA] had to make some pretty drastic changes…3.13%,” said Haldo.

Before the vote, Reagan opened the mic for questions. One club senator asked the SGA why they proposed to decrease the Whit’s budget from $31,000 to $20,000. 

“I know that it’s incredibly disappointing to see a budget decrease and just automatically internalize that and feel like we are coming after you, but I just want to assure you that it is truly nothing personal,” said Haldo.

One of the main reasons for the budget cut decision was the amount of leftover copies of the paper every week. The SGA decided this number was significant enough to cut The Whit’s printing costs.

After a question was asked about the process of amending the budget, SGA advisor Drew Tinnin explained the process at length.

“It has to be a balanced budget. You would have to take money from somewhere and move it somewhere else line by line,” said Tinnin, “If by the end of the night the budget is rejected or we[SGA] don’t come to a budget decision, the budget is determined by an advisory committee of myself, Kavin and Bri [Brianna]. If you would like us to decide your budget, I would rather have you all decide your budget.”

After the questioning and several points of clarification, the Senate voted quickly to approve the budget.

After the Senate voted to approve the 2025 budget, Reagan switched gears and the meeting opened up the mic for various student concerns. The first student in line was Whit Editor-in-Chief Victoria McGivern, who voiced her concerns over the budget cut. 

“I understand that SGA saw a 3% cut in its budget, but that should have been shared relatively equally across all organizations, not disproportionately dumped on the campus’s only student newspaper in the form of a shocking 35% slash,” said McGivern. “SGA’s job is to allocate funding, not to manage the budgets of organizations.” 

The line of students wishing to voice concerns started to grow at this point, and before she could finish, McGivern was cut off due to her going over her allocated speaking time. Reagan was also cut off by a Senator in the audience who stood up and called to defund The Whit entirely and spread their funds throughout the different clubs. This comment provoked much emotion throughout the room, including both laughter and outrage. 

Among students who voiced their concerns were several Whit editors, including News Editor, Madison Miller. Miller spoke to clarify the importance of a print newspaper and the problems facing the way students get information.

“The biggest reason why I believe that a hard physical copy of the Whit is necessary is due to the rise in AI and social media. While one could argue that the digital landscape is growing exponentially, this leads to carefully curated, specifically targeted content pushed to each person’s phone,” said Miller. 

In the end, the Senate voted to approve the budget, and it will go into effect for all clubs for the Fall 2024 semester. 

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email thewhit.featureseditor@gmail.com

1 COMMENT

  1. “Reagan was also cut off by a Senator in the audience who stood up and called to defund The Whit entirely and spread their funds throughout the different clubs.”

    If you’re going to report on facts, at least attempt to get them right. The Senator’s amendment was to remove the Whit’s entire printing budget, not your entire budget. Honestly this organization is a mess and your reporting leaves so much to be desired.

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