With only $127,750 to spend this spring and a large deficit from the 2015 fiscal year, finance committee had to make hard financial decisions when it saw 18 student groups Tuesday night.
The lack of funds for the spring semester and the deficit called for more debate and questions as the committee tried to make the best decisions that would have an impact on the most students.
The three and a half hour meeting spurred debates, questions and a little tension.
Among the 18 student groups requesting money, student government's executive branch asked for about $17,000 and was met with a small debate about voting booths for the upcoming student body election as well as money for food and speakers.
Student Body Treasurer Lee Beckman said he felt strongly that student government should be able to have food paid for by congress because the organization is supposed to bring groups together.
The finance committee felt differently because food is not something usually funded for any group, so they cut that money. The committee approved $13,851 for the executive branch.
Committee member Sarah Hudak was vocal at the meeting about making conservative fiscal decisions for many of the organizations.
The Carolina Film Association was heard first and asked for $15,000. This sparked numerous questions and debate because of the limited spring budget.
Almost all the student organizations that came before finance committee had large cuts — thousands of dollars — reducing what they requested to what the committee could fund.
The Carolina Association of Parliamentary Debate was another group that created a lot of debate within the committee.
Committee member Ben Labe objected to a motion to cut some funding because of the group’s fundraising efforts.
“It seems to me that this group has a plan to wean itself off,” he said.
Beckman also had some concerns about the group’s plan to send its members to three to four tournaments a semester. He suggested that number per year and one or two events each semester.
As the meeting continued on during the night, more groups self-edited their budgets — making cuts themselves before Craig Amasya, vice chairperson of finance committee, opened the floor to debates.
After seeing the groups on Tuesday, the committee has $42,399.45 left to allocate for the spring semester — if full Student Congress passes the funding as is.
Many of these student organizations have to be heard again in front of full Student Congress before funding is final.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.