On March 18, Student Government Association (SGA) approved its 2019-20 budget for executive agencies (EA), which includes a net reduction in funding of $28,414.21, or 4.97 percent, from last year.
Media Council received a cut of $29,896, causing the organization to have 31.7 percent less funding than this year. The cut is the most substantial among EAs. The organization is cutting 48 percent from each of its clubs to accommodate for the reduction, according to Katherine Huang, SGA vice president of finance. Since six additional clubs joined Media Council within the past year, each club needs to reduce more than the overall 32 percent cut, Huang explained.
Although SGA representatives and Media Council President Alex Zhang (19C) have repeatedly told the club presidents and treasurers that the substantial cuts are necessary due to the 2017 split between undergraduate and graduate student governments, funding for several other EAs was not cut.
No changes were made to the budgets for Student Programming Council (SPC) and Club Sports, while Outdoor Emory lost 6.05 percent. TableTalk lost 21 percent of its $6,998 2018-19 budget.
“Some people had to do a lot more with a lot less and they have shown that they deserve the money that they have given us,” SGA Freshman Representative and Finance Committee member Mo Singhal (22C) said. “This is a sustainable way of decreasing the amount of spending we’ve had. Everyone had to come together to get these numbers.”
Media Council Treasurer Katharine Yan (20B) did not respond to the Wheel’s request for comment.
Treasurer of WMRE Shannon Anderson (20C) said she is frustrated that Media Council faced the brunt of the cuts.
“It’s really sad,” Anderson said. “So many of the clubs are already receiving really meager budgets already.”
Anderson added that it’s “frustrating” to see clubs who won’t be able to fund publications or hold events due to a near or less than $1,000 deficit.
“That’s a drop in a bucket to SPC,” Anderson said. “But for some of these clubs … that’s a big difference.”
Zhang said Emory should contribute to funding for Media Council clubs.
“It is clear that Emory is in a state of expansion as evidenced by the increasing tuition price, new hiring and the new [Emory Student Center],” Zhang wrote. “If a portion of this expansion could be used to match what everyone is paying for the [Student Activity Fee], then there would be significantly more funding available. Moreover, it would show a great dedication from the University’s part in support of our clubs.”
SGA receives its funding from the $92 Student Activity Fee assessed to each undergraduate student every semester.