The University of South Dakota Student Government Association will have more than $282,000 to allocate for the 2016 fiscal year, pending the approval of the General Activity Fee increase.
This money goes to student organizations, club sports, legal aid, SGA legislative affairs and the SGA general fund. However, not all of the money is being used.
While large organizations, such as SERVE, Campus Activities Board, Dakotathon, Dakota Days and Tiospaye, receive $173,000 of this money, unspent money goes toward a reserve in the SGA general fund, SGA president Tyler Tordsen said. The current balance of the reserve fund is between $50,000 and $60,000.
External Communications Manager Sami Zoss said the reserve fund is basically unspent money.
“The reserve funds are funds from the previous years that were not used in the fiscal year in which it was allocated,” she said.
That money has a specific purpose, Tordsen said.
“Whatever those student orgs don’t spend, that comes back to our general account, and then that’s where we have our reserve that builds up,” Tordsen said. “That’s where we would pay to bring in the Native Voices at the Autry. That’s where we would make a donation to Legacy, the statue. That’s where we made the $20,000 donation to develop the student org room on campus.”
Native Voices at the Autry collaborated with the USD theatre department this year to bring in the play Stand-Off at Hwy #37.
First-year Pedro Martinez attended Stand-Off at Hwy #37. Martinez, who grew up in Puerto Rico, appreciated how the play depicted the struggle of being a minority in the United States.
“It had some basic points about how Native Americans are discriminated and how they feel oppressed by the government of the United States,” he said.
Martinez said he appreciated how the play made minorities at USD feel like they belong. The reserve fund also adds beauty to the campus — the Legacy statue became an icon after it was installed a few years ago.
The development of the student organization room was assisted by the reserve fund and adds a place to meet for all student organizations.
Tordsen plays a large role in coming up with the budget.
“A lot of it is based on past SGA leadership,” Tordsen said.