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New UGBC Budget Set at $329,138

The budget for the Undergraduate Government of Boston College is set at $329,138 for the 2018-19 year, a $1,162 increase over the 2017-18 budget. The main goals for this year’s budget are to allocate and spend money more efficiently and reach as many students as possible during UGBC events, according to Annika Li, vice president of financial affairs for UGBC and CSOM ’19.

“Our budget is very similar in size to last year, and so, we are trying to tighten the budget so that the money is going further,” Li said.

Her key takeaways from this year’s budget are to bring quality events to campus in an attempt to improve UGBC’s repertoire, while showing the student body what each division of UGBC brings to campus. Any money that each division saves, however, will be reallocated back into that division’s budget—UGBC wants to reward efficient and effective spending among each division.

“Just because they are delegated a certain amount of money per event, doesn’t necessarily means they need to spend that much,” Li said.

During the process of creating the budget, UGBC’s officers placed an emphasis on encouraging different divisions of UGBC to collaborate on programs and events. Collaborating will save money eand bring larger events to campus, but also aligns with one of UGBC’s budget goals: increasing outreach to the general student body.

With a total of 84 events, 27 of which are new concepts, Diversity and Inclusion Programming (DIP) receives the largest amount of funding at $121,450, approximately an $8,249.64 decrease from what the department spent last year.

“For DIP, we are funding slightly less than last year, but on the basis that its revenue will be poured back into DIP,” Li said.

DIP funds the AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC) Boat Cruise, the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council (GLC) formal, the ALC Ball, and ALC showdown—all popular events that could generate some revenue for UGBC that could be put toward increasing DIP’s margins as the year goes along.

The Council for Students with Disabilities (CSD), which has been allocated $11,300 for this year, is one of the departments UGBC is most concerned with. CSD is relatively new, as it was founded in 2015, and UGBC wants to focus on growing this division. Although last year’s budget allocated $13,128 for the council, only $8,982.58 was spent, leading to an increase in terms of funds set aside for CSD over what was spent, although a lower allocation than, last year.

Li said that, to encourage effective spending, UGBC wants CSD and GLC, with the latter budgeted at $24,750, to collaborate on some events. UGBC wants the two divisions to pool their resources so that together they can reach more of the student body—specifically raising awareness of the lesser-known CSD.

Another increase appeared in the Undergraduate Leadership Academy (ULA) budget: ULA will be expanding its scope to offer events for freshmen beyond the 30 students that will join the program. ULA also added director stipends, which are part of the Executive Council’s budget allocation.

The increase in funds allocated to the Executive Council, budgeted at $52,125 which is just under $12,000 greater than last year’s expenditures, is due to those added ULA stipends, in addition to a slight increase of about $125 in the cost of the UGBC fall retreat. A year ago, approximately $49,000 was earmarked for the Executive Council without the ULA stipends, but only $40,000 ended up being spent.

“Last year, [UGBC] went off campus but did not [have] an overnight retreat session, and we did that this year so we could really get away from BC’s campus and all of the distractions here,” Li said. “I think to some degree being off campus puts us in a mindset of UGBC focusing on what we want to accomplish.”

The stipend for the graduate assistant who aids UGBC is set at $20,000. Reed Piercey, UGBC president and MCAS ’19, has a stipend of $4,000, and Ignacio Fletcher, UGBC executive vice president and MCAS ’20, has a stipend of $3,500—those numbers are unchanged from last year. Each vice president that is a part of the council will receive a $2,000 stipend.

In the past, each division has functioned as its own organization, and this year’s retreat was the first step to unify the divisions of UGBC, according to Li. This retreat was intended to set the tone for the collaborative environment UGBC is trying to spread throughout the academic year. Divisions of the governing body plan to put on events with a similar emphasis on collaboration—this time between UGBC and the BC community—for the BC student body.

Student Initiative (SI) programming, budgeted at $48,650, covers expenses for events the Student Assembly (SA) puts on for the BC community, according to Li. She also mentioned that Fletcher specifically had his eyes on making the SI budget as efficient as possible while placing emphasis on bringing in the best speakers for high quality events.

“For Student Initiatives, we are trying to bring a lot more new programming to campus so they have a number of events,” said Li.

SI spent $51,617.83 on events in 2017-18, so the 2018-19 allocation is a decrease, but that decrease falls under the same lines as DIP’s: Events could generate more revenues that can go back into SI’s coffers, funding future events.

The ALC budget operates in similar fashion to the DIP budget: Funding is mainly set aside for established programming like the community dinner and other events geared toward the AHANA+ community, such as AHANA+ Celebration Week and the AHANA+ Summit. A few new programs will be announced as the year goes on, but like DIP, the council will receiving slightly less funding than last year in the hopes that incoming revenues can be cycled back into the budget to cover the costs of future events.

Communications will receive $17,540 in funding—virtually the same number as it spent last year. The department will focus on reaching the student body to improve UGBC’s presence on campus, while providing marketing for new on-campus programming and events that the student body won’t be as familiar with.

Finally, the SA will receive $7,968 in funding, Student Organizations (SO) will receive $2,425, and Financial Affairs will receive $450. The SA requires funds to cover its meetings and has introduced new funding that will target aiding implementation of senator initiatives, as well as buses for students to travel to Logan Airport and South Station at Thanksgiving and the March Madness Policy Bracket intended to encourage students to vote for projects they’d like UGBC to take on.

Financial Affairs is the lone new addition to the UGBC budget: The department has to address the cost of its own meetings and has been allocated $450 to do so.

September 7, 2018