SGA transitions to annual budget allocation system


File photo by Dylan Shen

Max Willner-Giwerc oversees the Finance Board as SGA comptroller.

Yunkyo Kim, news staff

The Finance Board of the Student Government Association, or SGA, approved changes to the manual that allocates funding for Northeastern student organizations on March 13.

The Student Activities Fee, or SAF, is a pool of funds designed to enrich student life through the distribution of budgets to student organizations. The $136 annual activity fee required for each undergraduate puts the total SAF fund at more than $2 million.

The new SAF Manual will transition from an “ad hoc system,” in which student clubs can ask for funding at multiple points during a semester, to an annual budget system. Under the new model, students will submit prospective annual budgets in the spring semester.

“The biggest benefit of that is that they’ll know in April or May, exactly how much they’ll have to work with for the year,” said Max Willner-Giwerc, the comptroller of the SGA Finance Board. “They will also get more flexibility to adjust when there are changes throughout the year.”

Willner-Giwerc, a second-year politics, philosophy and economics major, said that the increase in the number of student organizations created the impetus behind the change.

Along with the timeline change, the Board also published an accompanying website to announce the amendment. The website page states that the Board is “excited about the new budget model and the benefits it would bring” and that they recognize that “change is difficult.”

However, Willner-Giwerc said that he could not predict more funding for organizations whose budgets were cut up to 40 percent in the previous SAF allocation cycle.

“The benefit of the system is certainties,” Willner-Giwerc said. “So while I anticipate that we will be able to fund more student groups at a more adequate level, even if we weren’t able to, this new system will still allow for student groups to be more successful.”  

Willner-Giwerc also said that there are plenty of external ways for student clubs to reverse possible cuts in their budget, including fundraising, academic grants, Husky Starter and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.