By Daniel Meyers | February 1, 2023
UAlbany Student Association Logo
Photo Credit: UAlbany Student Association
The University at Albany Student Association (SA) budget for this academic year, which shows a 23.7% increase in funding over last year, has now been uploaded to the SA website and the MyInvolvement page for public view.
The money for the $3 million budget is based on a Sept. to Sept. fiscal timeframe and comes from the $110 activity fee that students must pay per semester as part of their tuition to help support and fund student government and more than 200 campus clubs.
Student Association Comptroller Kevon Burke said the budget had yet to be made available on the MyInvolvement page because of an oversight on his part. The budget, which is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, was posted last week following a request by the Albany Student Press to see the breakdown in spending for student-funded clubs and organizations on campus.
Burke said that the while the budget was not on MyInvolvement or its website, it was available on Blackboard for all clubs registered with the Student Association once the Fall 2022 semester began.
“There’s no rules that say [the budget] has to be posted on MyInvolvement, but it’s public information that is released upon request,” Burke said.
This academic year’s budget on the websites does not yet show the specific allocations of funds that campus clubs and organizations spend on the various events and trips they organize. Burke, however, said that the Board of Finance does have the itemized list of the funds.
It is not clear when the itemized budget will be posted to the SA and MyInvolvement sites.
Burke said that the Board of Finance for the Student Association, which is separate from the three main branches, was not active during the summer. At the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester, seven students are appointed to the board of finance – three by the President of the Student Association, and four by the Chair of the Student Association Senate.
According to Burke, for a club to receive the funding they’ve requested they must itemize the cost of every item associated with each event. The Student Association tracks the purchases and balances of each club every year, and any decisions about increases or decreases in funding are based on those records.
“At the end of the year, we find out how much they spent for the year and see if they need more or less money next year,” Burke said, adding that funding for clubs is based upon the needs of the club.
Toward the end of each academic year, the newly elected executive branch of the Student Association proposes the budget for the following year. The outgoing Student Association senators then approve the new year’s budget before their term ends.
This March, there will be a vote on whether to keep or remove the student activity fee from students’ tuition payments. While students could potentially pay less in tuition, there would also be a reduction in funding for student clubs. For more information, see the ASP's Jan. 18 SA meeting coverage.