After a month of discussion and research, the Missouri Students Association officially created its annual fee request proposal to the Student Fee Review Committee. The proposal will be brought to the SFRC on Nov. 14.
MSA Vice President Helena Kooi brought the proposal to the MSA Senate for approval Wednesday night. The proposal would affect the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center, Tiger Pantry, KCOU and MUTV, the Department of Student Activities and staff salaries.
“The whole SFRC request process is a perfect-world scenario,” Kooi said. “You are supposed to ask for what you want, what you think you need and that’s what we did.”
The first priority is funding the RSVP Center’s Coordinator position, Kooi said. Currently, the position is funded through a grant, but the grant expires August 2013.
Approximately $39,000 of the RSVP coordinator’s salary would come from the request. The additional salary funding would come from money MSA has saved, Kooi said.
If MSA did not fund the position, Kooi said the future of RSVP would be seriously compromised.
The proposal also includes $8,000 for Tiger Pantry’s operating budget.
Currently, Tiger Pantry receives its operating budget from MSA’s Department of Student Services. Kooi said it should have its own budget to allow DSS to fund other programs in the future.
The request for Tiger Pantry is $3,000 more than estimated in late September, as reported in a previous Maneater article. The original number was merely an estimate, and the official number is a response to the pantry’s large demand, Kooi said.
“After the amount of people coming into the pantry, which is way more than expected, we know that we need to start setting this money aside if we’re going to be able to grow and sustain the program,” she said.
Food for the pantry will continue to come through donations.
MSA also plans to partner with MU’s Department of Student Life to fund a graduate assistant specializing in development. Both MSA and Student Life would pay $6,936 to fund the graduate assistant’s salary.
The graduate assistant’s job is to do work that MSA’s student employees cannot, such as working with alumni and finding grants.
“We need more than just a student to work on (development),” Kooi said. “We need a sustained staff person to be able to help us with it.”
The request also includes $8,000 to make KCOU and MUTV’s student media coordinator a full-time position. Currently, the auxiliaries share the coordinator, Mark Johnson, with the MU School of Journalism.
“We’d be spending $8,000 to get 100% of (Johnson’s) time when he’s working,” Kooi said Wednesday.
The largest amount of money being requested — $78,000 total — would go to the Department of Student Activities. This would increase their budget, which has not increased over the years, Kooi said.
“(Things like) speakers’ honorariums are skyrocketing,” DSA Director Morgan Adrian said. “It’s keep up or get left behind.”
By increasing funding, DSA would be able to provide more free or discounted programming for students, Adrian said.
The $78,000 requested would be divided among eight committees to increase the quantity and quality of each committee’s programming, Adrian said.
The college music committee would receive $20,000 to secure acts for future Homecoming concerts like this year’s Imagine Dragons concert.
Another $20,000 would go for special events, which include comedians and educational programming. With the current funding, Adrian said she has rejected offers to host some events, so increasing the funding would be beneficial.
The speakers committee would receive $10,000 to bring recognizable names to campus.
An additional $8,000 would go to the international programming committee to fund a monthly coffee and culture event for students to learn about other cultures.
The Black Programming Committee would also receive $8,000 to continue programming such as the Poetry in the Park event.
DSA’s operating budget would increase by $5,000. The operating budget covers miscellaneous expenses and event staff salaries. With event attendance on the rise, more employees will be needed, Adrian said.
Kooi said $5,000 would be allocated for Summer Programming, which has never had official budgeting.
The smallest amount is $2,000 for the films committee. Adrian said she wants this committee to grow more in the future, so they are allocated the lowest amount of money this year. Additional funding would allow the committee to provide larger films more often.
The $78,000 requested would be added to DSA’s current budget, which for fiscal year 2013 was $538,585. $379,785 came from the student activity fee.
The last part of the request is $14,000 for a fiscal year 2014 salary increase and $11,917 for a staff benefit increase. These two numbers were not in MSA’s control, Kooi said. Instead, they are increases all MU staff and faculty are receiving.
Although Kooi is asking for the money, the SFRC proposal is ultimately in the hands of the committee, she said.