Money Spent Wisely?
Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 1, 2011 17:12
Every student's tuition at William Paterson University includes an activities fee for about $61. Would you like to know where it goes?
For the 2010-2011 school year, the SGA racked up a revenue of more than $1 million, the bulk of which covered the cost of the organization's expenses.
Out of that, "the general club account gets around $200,000 every year to be spent on events for students," said Stephen Bisaha, a junior non-treasury financial member on the board. "From there a club would file for money for an event or trip and we review the request for approval."
This year, the SGA set aside just more than $270,000.
"We approve pretty much everything that meets the filing requirements," said Bisaha. "We've already
spent about $130,000."
The SGA is responsible for most of the activities available for students like the Go Japan Host Café being held on Thursday. At the event, the club members will wear Japanese costumes and shoes, play games, provide food, and hand out giveaways all covered by the SGA at a cost of nearly $2,000. The club will keep the shoes for next year's Host Café.
"The SGA does not fund parties," said Bisaha firmly.
In its last meeting, however, an approval for about $500 was made for the Student Art Association's Themed Holiday Party. Maybe the SGA missed that one.
Many exciting events are planned for William Paterson students in the near future like the Vermont Ski Trip. The SGA relies heavily on precedent, so if an event is approved in past years it usually always will pass again. But new, exciting ideas are making their way through like the Jets vs. Chiefs football game cosponsored by the association.
For their work with the SGA, executive members receive benefits in the form of monies or tuition credits.
"I feel that a lot of our members are being overpaid for the job that they haven't been doing," said a source close to the SGA.
The SGA has six members holding executive positions. The president receives 12 paid credits for the year, while the remaining executives receive up to nine paid credits. Student reps receive $250 a semester. So, the activities fee also covers the SGA member stipend.
"In order to get their stipend, members have to complete office hours and their responsibilities," said the source.
So when asked if the SGA system was flawed, the source maintained that "the system works well; it was fine last year. It's just that I feel like there are some people in it today solely to reap benefits."
In an entity that receives no student funding, like the Pioneer Times, frustrations are evident.
"I definitely think we should get some funding and a little stipend," said Editor Shannon Smith of the department-sponsored publication. "For the time I put in for this paper I'll trade the three credits they're giving me for some money any day."