On April 12, Secretary of Finance Amanda Johnson ’17 sent an email to student organization leaders informing them that “all funds have been allocated from the Student Commission Budget.”
The email stated, “Because of the variety of ways funds can be spent, there may be some allocated funds that have gone unspent.”
She added that, “It is the job of Student Commission to allocate and spend all of the money because unspent money allows the college to justify a student commission budget reduction. In order to continue to maintain the maximum budget, we work as hard as possible to reach $0 balance at the end of the year.”
This caused many delays and interruptions of plans for many StuOrgs. For example, Cirque du K is unable to put on their annual Spring performance due to lack of funds.
Johnson mentioned that she and a group of dedicated students were working to find the unspent allocated money in order to redistribute it over the reminder of the quarter.
A couple of weeks later, on April 29, Johnson sent another stating that $8,000 (the number is closer to $5,000 she stated later) in allocated unused funds was found.
“To find the funds, I went through and compared the allocated funds records to the finance records of each student organization,” said Deputy Secretary of Finance, Elyse Kaplan ’18. “Unfortunately, due to the nature of these things, funds are always going to be a little bit tricky to track because they are moving through many different offices, things are always going to get lost along the way sometimes.”
Kaplan hopes that in the future the process for student funding can be simpler. One potential idea she has is creating a follow up form for StuOrgs where they can explain to the funding board how much money they actually spent.
“I definitely think that we can improve this system greatly moving forward, and I am very excited to see what happens in the coming years,” said Kaplan.
Johnson said that StuOrgs have access to the new funds submitting a budget request(https://portal.kzoo.edu/teams/stucomm/Lists/Budget%20Request%20Application/NewForm.aspx?IsDlg=1) a week in advance before it is needed.