An $18.6 million Activity and Service Fee budget bill for 2015-16 was approved this past week at the Student Government Association Senate meeting. This year, the A&SF budget — which passed unanimously 43-0-0 — boasts $1.1 million more than last year.
The A&SF budget, which funds different agencies on campus such as Homecoming and the Campus Activities Board, stems from the fee that each student pays per credit hour.
The current fee is $11.67 per credit hour. The total $18.6 million budget is a 6.3 percent increase from last year — however, the fee students pay may not increase.
The bill awaits authorizing signatures from UCF President John C. Hitt, SGA President Weston Bayes and Maribeth Ehasz, vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Services.
"Assuming they all approve, the A&SF budget is incorporated with the overall university budget and then presented to UCF's Board of Trustees for approval," said David Pavlonnis, assistant vice president of SDES. "The final UCF budget approved by UCF's Board of Trustees is then approved by Florida's Board of Governors."
Pavlonnis explained that the per-credit-hour charge students pay will remain $11.67 per credit hour for the 2015-16 fiscal year. In order for the fee to increase, the University Fee Committee would have to make a recommendation for it to increase, which would then need approval from the UCF Board of Trustees.
Though the overall budget has increased from last year, cuts were made to certain categories, such as the Multicultural Student Center, which saw a 6 percent decrease from last year's budget.
The Student Union, however, saw an 8 percent increase, mostly allocated for repair and replacement costs.
"All the different small changes are really going to be pertinent to students, like the RSO Resource Center," said Sydney Altfield, SGA vice president and A&SF chair.
Altfield explained that any cuts made to the budget were based on student directors' recommendations of which categories they felt comfortable decreasing from their agencies' individual budgets.
"We made sure to listen to them. The [A&SF] committee did a great job of putting all students' needs into priority," Altfield said. "What's the most important to them? What are they going to need the most? And how will it least affect them?"
A&SF funds aspects of more than 15 different departments and agencies on campus, including branches of SGA, the Recreation and Wellness Center and the Multicultural Student Center.
2015-16 A&SF Budget Changes
Multicultural Student Center: $22,447
Student Government Judicial Branch: $3,150
Student Government Elections Commission: $2,750
Campus Activities Board: $2,665
Student Government A&SF Committee: $1,800
Total cuts: $46,536
Activity & Service Fee Business Office: $446,015
Student Union: $300,277
Recreation and Wellness Center: $219,818
Office of Student Involvement: $85,337
Student Legal Services: $35,816
Student Government Legislative Branch: $31,000
Late Knights: $10,375
Student Government Executive Branch: $5,556
Knights of the Roundtable: $2,475
Sports Club Council: $1,420
Volunteer UCF: $503
Total additions: $1,138,592
Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at NadaHCentralFloridaFuture.com.