Student Government, UB deal with budget cuts

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Because of the decrease in enrollment, both the University Board and Student Government have taken an 8 percent budget cut to make up for the lack of student fees.

Cecilia Brinker, the director of student life, said that UB and Student Government are the only registered student organizations that receive student fee allocations and budgets from the Apportionment Board.

“Over the past five years, the steady decline attributed to the EIU student enrollment resulted in a steady decline in the amount of student activity fees available to the student-fee funded areas,” Brinker said.

Student activity fees go toward athletics, the Student Recreational Center, the UB and Student Government.

“It ultimately continues to impact the quality/quantity of entertainment activities/events provided by university board and student government to the EIU student body,” Brinker said.

For example, the UB requested $204,121 for the 2014-15 academic year because members knew budget cuts were going to happen; however, the board had to return $16,329.68 of that, making its total for the year $187,791.32.

Darius Francis, the UB chair, said members have had to “water down” some of their events because of budget cuts, but they have made due with what has been offered.

“What can you do?” Francis said.

Francis said many of the UB’s 10 committees have had to collaborate and merge together to pull off some events.

He said instead of the UB getting big-name speakers, it has been using faculty members.

Francis said the quality of the events and programs have suffered with fewer funds.

The UB will not host its usual end-of-the-year Spring Fling party because of its lack of funds.

“University Board has made a concerted effort to ‘do more with less,’” Brinker said. “However, there is only so much that the University Board can do without sacrificing ‘quality’ services and programing that the EIU student body has come to know and expect.”

Student Government has also faced a $3,498.80 cut because of the enrollment decrease, but it has not suffered as much as the UB.

Reggie Thedford, the student body president, said because the organization does not need as much money as the UB, the group managed by being responsible with what it has.

However, Student Government has seen a steady budget decline in the past five years.

The group saw its peak amount in the past five years in 2013 with $49,977, compared to 2015 when it was left with $40,236.20 after cuts.

“Our budget is low, but we just be smart with the events we plan,” Thedford said.

Thedford said the largest cut the group has faced was for its traveling sessions that executive members go on to meet other student leaders in the nation.

Thedford said the cuts are not hindering members Student Government from doing their job, but they could have done without the budget cuts.


Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].