University removes budget allocations to Student Co-Op
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 14:10
The Student Cooperative Association Finance Committee devised a solution to address a lack of allocations from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania at their monthly meeting Thursday.
The solution is to take the $33,000 of allocations from IUP that was budgeted for the 2012-2013 fiscal year and pull it from what is left in the base budget for the year.
Before Thursday’s meeting, the Co-Op still had $120,000 left in the base budget to allocate. The committee voted unanimously to pull the $30,000 that is needed from there, leaving $90,000 in the base budget.
Last year, according to Chuck Potthast, Co-Op Chief Financial Officer, the university allotted the Co-Op $33,000 in federal work study money.
The year before, the university provided $113,000 in federal work study money. This year, no federal work study money is being provided to the Co-Op.
“This is just part of the necessary budget issues that we’re all facing,” said Michelle Fryling, IUP Director of Media Relations, in a phone interview Monday. “Budgeting is challenging and we have to make some difficult decisions.”
“We’re assuming that we’re not going to go back to the old days,” Potthast said in a Monday phone interview.
Yet, according to Potthast, student work study will not be affected.
Committee member Andrew Longacre (senior, safety and political science) asked Potthast at the meeting if a fee increase would help to offset the cost.
“I don’t want to see any of our services go away,” Longacre said.
According to the IUP Bursar’s website, “the activity fee is collected from all students and administered through the Student Cooperative Association under regulations approved by the Council of Trustees.” Because the Co-Op administers the activity fee money, that sum of money will not be affected.
“With enrollment increasing, it allows the activity fees to be stronger – which doesn’t completely offset [the reduction in funding], but it helps,” Fryling said.
Potthast said that the Co-Op should pull the missing money from the base budget, where there is still an excess of money, before it considers raising the activity fee.
The activity fee is set to increase for the fall 2013 semester, but the increase will be because of the construction of the multi-purpose facility that is set to open next fall.
The increase was approved by the Co-Op on Nov. 3, 2011. In addition to the base budget, the Co-Op also has a one-time allocation fund of $278,000 that is predominately used to provide organizations additional funding, if necessary. Despite the drop in funding, according to Potthast, the Co-Op knew that the day would come where the university would no longer allocate funds toward the Co-Op.
“We were prepared for this day,” Potthast said at the meeting.
“Sometimes budgets and allocations need to change,” Fryling said.