During its regular meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19, the Student Government (SG) at AUBG invited President Stratsi Kulinski and Vice-President for Finance and Administration Alexander Alexandrov with the goal of having them answer some questions coming from the student body. However, since Alexandrov was sick and unable to attend, some of the questions remained unanswered. These were:
1. How are the activity fees allocated?
2. Since the clubs are what distinguishes AUBG from other universities, shouldn’t we sponsor that aspect of our university more?
Other questions such as why was the SG budget decreased and why is the university running a $2.4 million deficit couldn’t find their answer as well.
In an interview for AUBG Daily, Alexandrov explained that
there were budget cuts in various departments, but the Student Government did not have its budget cut.
“The Student Government is the unit where we intentionally did not cut, because it is a lot of pain and not a lot of money,” said Alexandrov. He explained that it was the exchange rate between the dollar and the lev which affected the depreciation charges and which caused the reduction in the usable funds.
Regarding the question of why the Student Government recieves only about 7% of the overall student activity fee, Alexandrov said, “Each year…we say, hey if you want more money for student travel, let us know, we will increase it. There were two cases when students on the student financial affair committee, have said, we want more money for student clubs.”
Alexandrov also explained that the university would increase or realocate the activity fee as the students wish. However, some of them cannot be realocated. An example of such an expense is the depreciation of the Sports Hall which is listed under Sports Activities in the chart below.
“I am indifferent to what the student activity fee is. If the students want to do $50 more for activity fee so that they have $50,000 more for student clubs, they can,” Alexandrov said. “Tomorrow, if the Student Government tells me we want $50,000 more for the student clubs, do you mind raising the fee $50 more. Twice they have done that, with 10$ each. Once they wanted student travel fee to increase and once for clubs.”
|Category||Student Government||Sports Activities||Student Activities||Student Travel||New Student Orientation|
|Percent of total student activity fee||6.7%||69.2%||16.2%||4.2%||3.7%|
Note: Upon the request of the University the specific allocations and amounts have not been posted, but are available to be viewed in person either through AUBG Daily or the Finance office.
In regards to the 2.4 million deficit that Kulisnki stated during the Student Government meeting, Alexandrov explained that the university gathers through fundraising a certain amount every year, and every year it gives out an amount for scholarships. When less money is gathered than given out, the university is running down the reserves it has. This gets budgeted as a deficit for the respective financial year. If the university has a good year and it gets a lot of donations, then the tank is filled up. For the past 2015-2016 financial year, AUBG had an operating deficit of $2.7 million according to Alexandrov.
Alexandrov commented that the first financial quarter for the current 2016-2017 fiscal year was good, with a few donations resulting in over one million dollars, which filled up the tank by a modest sum of $100,000. “If that continues through the other quarters, we will have running up the tank, if it doesn’t we will still be in a situation where we have a total operating deficit,” he said.