As a student, sometimes it seems like money is a constant topic of conversation. However incessant, students should be aware of how money is used at the university.
Students at UNA pay $56 toward the Student Activity fee each semester. This money goes toward the University Program Council and Resident Student Organization.
The purpose of the Student Activity Fee is to give UNA students access to activities year round. This includes RSO and UPC activities from cultural programs to live acts. Just because student representatives have access to this money does not mean they are allowed to be reckless with it.
UPC has a $75,000 budget devoted to the Spring Concert. In 2017, UPC received extra money from the rollover budget, an account where any money SGA does not use in the fiscal year is stored. In total, the Spring Concert totaled $106,000 for three artists, according to the SGA website.
Despite its high cost, this concert did not generate as much external revenue as previous artists with a cheaper contract.
Events occur on campus daily the majority of students are unaware of. Students should know about events their money pays for in not only enough time to attend but enough time to contribute ideas.
How many student’s opinions did representatives consult when the majority of campus is unaware what is going on? A small group of people from the same social group does not represent the diversity among the student body.
At the beginning of the fall 2017 school year, SGA devoted money from the state budget to hire multiple people to fill marketing positions. If this is some revolutionary idea, by this point all students should know there are multiple events on campus every week.
The best way for students to know about campus events is through SGA Remind, but notices on events are usually not sent out until the day of. It is easy to pay for these positions when the school provides the money, but I am sure these SGA officials would feel differently if they were the ones paying for these events out of their own pocket.
Each time an event occurs on campus, make sure money is used properly. Get in touch with university leaders about things needed on campus to ensure every student has a voice.
With SGA elections finishing up, hold these newly elected representatives accountable of their promises to the students. I encourage all students to watch the live streamed SGA meetings to keep up with long-term plans. Meetings are also open to the public. See the Flor-Ala calendar on page 15 for more details.