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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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How does the Student Association spend its $4.2 million?

An overview of SA fund allocation

Your $104.75 student activity fee isn’t just funding Spring Fest.

The Spectrum broke down the Student Association’s budget –– using SA’s General Ledger –– to determine how the organization disperses its $4.2 million.

Club budgets are a large portion of the SA budget, and range from $50 to $58,000. Eric Weinman, SA senate chair, said clubs present proposals to SA’s finance committee to receive funding. He said senators then vote on the proposals and make “objective” funding decisions based on a checklist of club features. While SA provides budgets to clubs, the clubs also earn money from outside sources, such as fundraising and donations. 

Top five club budgets

Men’s Ice Hockey has the highest club budget with roughly $58,000. The club’s initial budget for the year was $18,000, but the club received a roughly $40,000 revenue adjustment in early October. SA Treasurer Tanahiry Escamilla said the revenue adjustment accounts for money fundraised by the club.   

The Society of Automotive Engineers has the second-highest budget, with $36,000. SAE’s largest expenses thus far include $2,100 for event lodging, $1,700 for two snowmobile wraps, $1,300 for event registration and $966 for uniforms. 

Olivia Gustafson, SAE’s coordinator, said the budget “is definitely a necessity” for the club.

“[The club] works on large-scale projects that go to regional and national competitions,” Gustafson said. “Equipment like motors and trailers are expensive, so the large budget is justified.”

The Black Student Union is spending most of its $33,000 budget on its upcoming Black Explosion fashion show on March 2. 

Crew Rowing Team has the next-highest budget with $26,000. The highest expenses this year include roughly $8,300 for lodging as well as a roughly $1,600 boat house usage fee and $1,300 for equipment. 

The American Society of Civil Engineers has a $20,500 budget. The largest expenditures are for flights at roughly $4,700. Other smaller expenses include costs for parts and projects. 

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Political clubs

The College Republicans spent roughly $65 of their $4,000 budget this year so far. The cost covered last semester’s end-of-the-year pizza party.

The College Democrats haven’t touched their $1,000 budget yet. 

Maura Sutherland, president of College Democrats, said the club has been saving the funds for upcoming events, including College Democrats of New York’s annual convention at Syracuse University in April and a joint debate with College Republicans.

Students for Justice in Palestine’s total budget of roughly $1,500 has covered food costs for meetings and cooking classes, as well as a $380 one-way plane ticket to bring guest speaker Benjamin Ladraa to Buffalo.  

Young Americans for Freedom has roughly $570, including SA funding, fundraised money and rollover from last year. The club’s highest expenditure this year was $80 for a rose fundraiser, while they spent $50 to host Ben Shapiro.

Religious/ spiritual clubs

Muslim SA’s total funds are roughly $14,000 including granted and fundraised money — most of which the club spends on food at meetings and fundraisers.  

Brothers and Sisters in Christ have the next-highest budget for a religious club, bringing in a total of $5,600 this year. The club’s largest expense was $1,600 on BASICcon.

Sikh SA put a dent in its roughly $2,450 budget to fund its Punjabi Night in November, but quickly earned the funds back in the event’s admission cost. 

Jewish Student Union has used its $2,000 budget to host events such as “bubble tea and talk” and a Hanukkah bake.

Student stipends/pro-staff


SA has 44 paid student positions, who manage everything from clubs to media marketing and student affairs. 

SA grants the three executive board members each $15,000 stipends yearly. 

Chief of Staff earns $6,500 to $9,600 per year to “act as a point of contact between the e-board and all SA employees or other stakeholders.” They are required to assist in office management and handle all staff concerns. 

The Transportation Coordinator earns $3,700 to $4,500 per year to coordinate club van scheduling and reservations. 

The Elections and Credentials chair oversees SA elections and forms the elections and credentials committee to earn $2,600 to 3,200 yearly. 

Assembly Speaker and Senate Chair each earn a $1,000 stipend, the lowest stipends of all SA staff. 

The seven club coordinators receive stipends as well, ranging from $2,306.85 to $4,613.70. 

Jacklyn Walters is a Co-senior News Editor and can be reached at and on Twitter @JacklynUBSpec.

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Jacklyn Walters is a senior communication major and The Spectrum's managing editor. She enjoys bringing up politics at the dinner table and seeing dogs on campus. 



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