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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

MSA budget will be $150,000 less than previous year

MSA adviser Bryan Goers said the “theme” of this budget season is that “everyone should expect cuts.”

March 17, 2017

The MSA budget is $150,000 less than last year, at a total of $1.47 million, due to low enrollment numbers and less carryover.

The Missouri Students Association Department of Student Activities, STRIPES and student officer salaries from both Executive Cabinet and Senate received the most cuts from last year’s budget. However, most organizations within MSA are facing at least some cuts of their budget from last year. MSA adviser Bryan Goers said the “theme” of this budget season is that “everyone should expect cuts.”

The Student Activity Fee is where most of the MSA budget comes from. Due to low freshman class enrollment this year and the large senior class leaving this spring, organizations and auxiliaries within MSA are all feeling the consequences. Carryover of money that wasn’t used in last fiscal year’s budget also dropped $66,000.

STRIPES received a $10,000 cut. The auxiliary has a contract with Avis Columbia, the company that rents STRIPES its cars. STRIPES uses at least a dozen cars on weekends, but because of the $10,000 cut to its budget, STRIPES is taking one car out of commision. The Department of Student Activities College Music Committee took a $10,000 cut, while the Special Events Committee was taken out of DSA completely to save funds. The committee made the least amount of money in DSA last year.

“DSA is facing the heavier cuts, and a lot of that is because with less students coming in, there’s less students that will be attending events,” Budget Chairman Jack Blevins said. “This would just make sense to cut back on some of the events we do.”

Many of the cuts within DSA are based on the amount of revenue DSA produces. The Student Films Committee plans to reduce the number of films played each week because of its $8,000 cut. DSA decided to cut from the committee to avoid additional cuts to their other organizations. DSA Associate Director Kathy Murray said programs like Netflix are hard to compete with on campus and have resulted in a loss of revenue.

“For College Music or Films, their goal is not so much to make money when they're selling tickets, it's more so to break even,” Blevins said. “That’s a lot of the mentality behind DSA when they're putting on their events.”

Because DSA has taken heavy cuts this year, auxiliaries that don't normally face cuts, such as KCOU and MUTV, are seeing changes. Now, both auxiliaries are facing a reduced budget by $1,000, insuring some money is filtered back to DSA.

“I personally think that DSA should not be a part of MSA and be moved under campus activities because we keep having to cut from them every year,” MSA Vice President Tori Schafer said. “We don’t want to cut them to the point where they can’t do the amazing programming they want to do.”

Auxiliaries within MSA receive the first draft of the budget when Schafer releases it to the Budget Committee. They received a copy of the budget last week. Heads of auxiliaries often meet with the committee to recommend where their organizations can receive cuts.

“I’d say communication is one of the areas we have struggled with during this budget season,” Blevins said. “However, we’ve been trying to make up for some of that in the last couple weeks. We’ve been meeting with the staff adviser for DSA to see where to move allocations around within DSA.”

Edited by Emily Gallion | egallion@themaneater.com

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