Raymond Arke | Editor-in-Chief
Following mixed feedback from students over lack of budget transparency, Duquesne’s Student Government Association (SGA) Senate voted on Saturday, Sept. 22 to release its 2018-19 budget. This was the first time in at least four years that the budget was disclosed with the Senate’s permission.
In a document posted on CampusLink, the SGA stated that its budget for this academic year totaled $73,934. The Duke estimated in a staff editorial on Sept. 13 that, based on previously obtained data, the SGA’s budget was around $73,500.
The majority of the budget, $30,000, is appropriated to the Loop Bus. Conference appropriations received the second highest amount with $23,100. Other notable amounts include $2,763 for the Study Break program, $2,491 for Night of Lights, $2,120 for Executive Board Contingency and $1,985 for Senior Awards.
James Joyce, SGA vice president of finance, said in an interview with The Duke that he supported the Senate’s unanimous decision to publicly release the budget.
“I’m very happy the senators decided to release the budget,” he said. “[They] heard the chatter from The Duke and the students.”
Joyce credited the Executive Board members’ campaign promises as helping to motivate the Senate to action.
“It was our [executive] board’s push to make it happen,” he said.
Joyce said he hopes that making the budgetary figures public will encourage students to get more involved.
“Most people are going to see … [that] the largest line items in our budget go directly back to the student,” he explained, like the Loop Bus and conference appropriations.
He also hopes to have more students apply for the conference appropriations, a process that he and SGA finance committee chairwoman, Isabella Gingrich, spent the summer simplifying into a two-form process.
“Conference appropriations are a resource for our students. It has been underutilized,” he said. Now, “students get to see how much money is available to them.”
Applications for conference appropriations are due no later than Oct. 8, and the documents can be found on SGA’s CampusLink page.