Editors Note: The Volante staff updated this article as of April 5, 2023 in order to correct misinformation
SGA initially cut the budget for Safe Rides, however, it was then amended to include $10,000 for the program. This amount will fully cover the funds needed to successfully provide this service to the Vermillion community.
SGA recently cut several budgets, including Safe Rides. People are wondering what this means for programs and how it will impact the community. Former SGA senator, Brandon Raynes, gave an update on what changes to expect.
“The budget cuts won’t affect a whole lot for Safe Rides. We managed to maintain adequate funding for this program given its importance to the Coyote Community,” Raynes said. “We recognize that Safe Rides is essential to our community, so it was crucial that we allocated as much funding to it as possible. We don’t anticipate the program being placed in any sort of danger. In a town like Vermillion where ride-share applications are not prominent, Safe Rides is extremely important to fill in the accessibility gap that wouldn’t normally be an issue in Sioux Falls or Rapid City.”
There are a few other programs recently cut from the budget. The programs involved other events and food.
“(Budgets cuts are) mainly with organizational budgeting, such as costs associated with food and events. This is especially true with special appropriations. Unfortunately, SGA has struggled to keep up with new organizations being created throughout the previous semesters. As a result, we have recommended that organizations co-host events with others or engage in approved fundraising activities. Additionally, wherever students can find funding from other resources is especially helpful in this troubling period,” Raynes said.
SGA has made changes to their budget and operations in the recent year. Things seem to be uncertain in how it will affect those selected programs and future budget cuts.
“In my view, it remains uncertain,” Raynes said “In this past year, SGA has been divided on fiscal policies which has ensued more gridlock than achieved realizable progress. As more costs pile on and become an even more difficult responsibility for SGA, Senators will need to make hard decisions and consider more stringently how funds are being used. How exactly that will happen remains to be seen with the passage of the new fiscal year budget and its utilization by the new Senate.”