SGA puts spending on ice

Ashlee Clark

Winter weather isn’t the cause of a recent freeze in the Student Government Association and the Campus Activities Board.

The student group’s budgets have been informally frozen in anticipation of budget cuts to university departments.

Money won’t be spent by the groups until President Gary Ransdell presents his budget cut plan to the Board of Regents at a called meeting within the next two weeks.

Western has been ordered to cut $5.6 million from its budget by Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s administration.

The freeze on SGA’s budget was announced at Tuesday night’s congress meeting.

CAB assistant Azurdee Garland said there will be no additional programs added to the schedule for this semester.

There was originally a freeze on personnel actions that were not faculty or grant funded, Provost Barbara Burch said. Each division head was then asked by Ransdell to use prudence in making further expenditures.

Student Affairs, which SGA and CAB fall under, has also been placed on an informal freeze, said Gene Tice, vice president for Student Affairs and campus services.

“I just want to make sure we don’t inadvertently spend money that’s in the budget until we have a plan,” Tice said.

Garland said CAB will probably have to sponsor fewer programs and have smaller programming in the future.

“We might have $10,000, we might have $100,000,” Garland said. “We’re still going to program to the best of our ability.”

SGA President John Bradley said they don’t yet know how much of SGA’s budget will have to be given back.

It is likely that cuts will happen, he said.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll still have money for miscellaneous projects,” he said.

The budget freeze will not affect business in SGA, Bradley said.

“There’s not a lack of work that student government can’t do in the coming months,” he said.

He said legislation requiring money can still be passed by congress despite the freeze.

If legislation was passed that needed money, Charley Pride, director of student activities and organizations, would decide if there was money available, said Nick Todd, SGA vice president of finance.

SGA currently has $65,309.52 in its budget for the 2003-2004 year, but there is money that has been committed but not yet taken out of that amount, Bradley said.

SGA also has an Aramark contract and two foundation accounts that would not be affected by the freeze, Todd said. The contract and accounts total $7,400.

Tice said his division has remained very positive about the budget freeze.

“We’re all in this together,” Tice said. “It affects all of us.”

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected].