SOAF funds more than student activities

By Gus Bode

SOAF funds more than student activities

Money out of the Student Organization Activity Fund does not just provide funding for organizations to put on events; it also pays for three salaries of people who oversee the RSO finances.

Two accountants that work specifically with Registered Student Organizations accounts already have their salary paid for out of the SOAF account and an administrative secretary will be the third to be paid out of the account for fiscal year ’03-04.

Advertisement

The debate about what the third position to be paid out of the SOAF account would be was spurred when USG members voiced concerns about them paying their advisor out of their own funds.

In 2001, Larry Dietz, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, proposed that the director in Student Development who advises USG be paid for out of the SOAF account, along with the two other salaries.

Dietz said it is a general trend among Universities to have a portion of student activity fees pay for administrative overhead for people working directly with Registered Student Organizations.

“When I came here, I was looking at ways to bring service up to national trends and norms,” Dietz said.

When Dietz decided to fund the three positions’ salaries out of the SOAF account, the original plan was to transfer one salary at a time from the University payroll to the SOAF account over a three-year period.

The order of the funding switch went as follows:the first position in ’01-02, the second in ’02-03, and the third next school year, ’03-04.

Dietz said he outlined how much money would be used and what it would go toward in a memo to former USG President Bill Archer in 2001.

Advertisement

He said both Archer and the GPSC president at the time gave support for the proposal.

But because of concern from USG about paying an adviser out of its own account, Dietz agreed to find another position that could be paid out of the SOAF account.

The administrative secretary, who will now be the third position to receive money from the student account, will be paid $25,000 to $30,000 out of the student account.

Dietz said he would phase the administrative secretary position salary out over two years because of concern from USG. The position will receive half of what the full salary will be for two years and then be paid the full $25,000 the third year.

The total used out of the SOAF account to pay the three positions will be at around $75,000.

Money in the Student Organization Activity Fee is generated through several fees, including student activity, safety, fine arts and mass transit fees.

According to Jean Paratore, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, the SOAF account balance for fiscal year 02-03 was about $1 million.

She said money from the student account is then allocated out first to three programs, Rainbow’s End Childhood Development Center, Fine Arts program and the Campus Safety program.

Then money is used for any staffing positions that are paid out of the fund. The balance left over is divided between the Undergraduate Student Government and the Graduate Professional Student Council to fund RSO-sponsored events.

Reporter Kristina Dailing can be reached at [email protected]

Advertisement