SGA wrestles with budget cuts

Like almost every other institution in the nation, the Student Government Association is in the midst of a financial crisis. According to Financial Vice President Robert Moehle, their budget came out $80,000 short after last year’s annual funding.
In order to alleviate the tension, SGA should pass a measure that would encourage a raise in the student activity fee by an undecided amount. This is acceptable. So far, Saint Louis University students participating in Chartered Student Organizations have had it relatively easy: The current fee for participation is only $45, compared with other major Jesuit institutions, which demand more money from their students.
Also, in order to raise an adequate amount of money, the fee increase wouldn’t need to be too dramatic. SLU also has the benefit of having more CSO participants than other Jesuit institutions, so more money can be collected with less burden placed on each individual.

Raising activity fees also prevents SGA from cutting their funding for travel for club sports teams entirely, which was proposed as another antidote to the budget crisis. For now, the student activity fee will pay for clubs to travel to competitions, and the only cuts will go to spot-funding; in the event that a team makes a national competition, SGA will only pay for 60 percent of travel dues, claiming it was an unforeseeable event that couldn’t be budgeted ahead of time.

Although Moehle would like to keep activities on campus and would have had no problem cutting travel funding, we believe it is important for SGA to have money to fund travel. It runs counter to the college experience to corral students onto their campuses; the University should want to move students around the country so they can glean an understanding of things and cultures outside their immediate vicinity. Also, it is especially important for students to have the opportunity to travel off campus when SLU lacks certain resources like fields for lacrosse players.

Raising the activity fee is a small price that students will have to pay to continue receiving the benefits of SGA funding in other aspects of their extracurricular lives.