Student Union Financial Report: Winter 2019

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By Ahmed Sultan

“It’s a common but understandable sentiment that the SU [Student Union] doesn’t do anything. Hopefully, this budget report will show not only are we not corrupt, but actually how much we are trying to do our best to pour into student life,” senior and SU Chief Financial Officer of Compliance, Safety, and Security Dylan Kim said.

The SU has released a finance report summarizing the beginning balance, yearly allocations, yearly revenue, and yearly profit for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. It also traces the distribution of funds to fundraising events and items such as clubs, dances, SU products, and Big Sib program expenses. This report is part of the SU’s push for greater transparency and communication with the student body. “As they say, talk is cheap, so here are the numbers to show that we are actually doing our very best to ensure that students can have access to the wide array of extracurriculars available at Stuyvesant,” Kim said.

Financial Report by William Wang (Student Union President), Vishwaa Sofat (Student Union Vice President), and Dylan Kim (Chief Financial Officer of Compliance, Safety, and Security)


What is the Yearly Beginning Balance? What does the SU do with this balance?

The Yearly Beginning Balance is the amount of money that the SU starts off with at the beginning of every year. The SU uses this balance to determine their Club Pub allocations, SING! allocations, Caucus event allocations, and any other expenditures for the year. As of right now, the SU Yearly Beginning Balance supports an emergency cushion, which allows the SU to continue all of its operations even if it raised no revenue.

Why does the Yearly Beginning Balance change from year to year?

The Yearly Beginning Balance changes from year to year depending on the expenditures and profitability of events from the previous year. Generally, the value between years should only have slight variances, but it is highly dependent on the budgeting decisions made by the previous year’s administration.

Yearly Allocations

What are yearly allocations?

Yearly allocations are the processes by which clubs can request funding from the SU. Starting this year, allocations will be held twice a year, once every semester.

Do unused allocations carry over from one year to the next?

The remaining balances for all clubs are rolled over. They have the right to ask for their previous year’s balance to be rolled over if it didn’t.

Yearly Revenue

How does the SU make its revenue?

The SU’s revenue mostly comes from SING!. Other revenue streams include apparel sales, BooGrams!, and Caucus events such as bake sales, movie nights, and dances. The difference in revenue year to year depends on the success of Caucus events and different initiatives started under each administration.

Club Pub Allocations

How does the SU determine the amount of allocations for clubs, publications, and activities?

The overall cap for allocations is determined by the SU’s Budget Committee and varies depending on the Yearly Beginning Balance, number of chartered organizations, and amount of money requested by these organizations. For individual allocations, the SU takes into account the organization’s size, purpose of the request, length of its existence, and whether the organization is receiving funds from the Parents’ Association. However, the allocations are not a direct reflection of the worth of each club to Stuyvesant.

Dances Allocations

How are the SU and Caucus event allocations determined? How are ticket prices for events determined?

The SU follows the Cost Revenue Analysis (CRA) model to determine allocations and ticket prices. Caucuses make itemized budgets, with projected sales on a range of ticket prices. The SU Chief Finance Officer of Revenue Building and the SU Chief Finance Officer of Compliance, Safety, and Security both review the CRAs and approve the expenditure based on past results. The ticket prices are determined by past records of sales, taking into consideration both student affordability and SU profitability.

SU Products Allocations

What are SU products?

SU products are miscellaneous items that are used to support the SU’s operations as well as schoolwide events. For example, pizza for the blood drives throughout the year and the apparel sold earlier this year would be deemed SU products. These products are considered expenses mandatory in keeping the SU and other organizations throughout the school running smoothly.

Big Sib Program Allocation

Why does the Big Sib program get funding?

The Big Sibs are an important organization within the Stuyvesant community. The SU has funded the Big Sib dances and open houses every year to help the organization continue their operations. In the past, the SU has also paid for ARISTA T-shirts and events, such as the ARISTA induction ceremony.

SING! Allocations

What are SING! allocations? Why have the allocations varied over the years?

Each SING! was given a base of $1200 in 2017-2018, which was $300 less than the amount in 2016-2017. This base helps each SING! cover production-specific expenses.

The most notable difference is the large increase in SING! allocations between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. This increase is due to the SU paying the Galaxy Budget of $25,000, which covers the salaries of faculty advisors who aid in the production of SING!. While the Galaxy Budget was funded in conjunction with the Alumni Association in 2017, the SU had to pay for this expense the following year. The Student Union expects to pay for the Galaxy Budget for 2018-2019.

SING! Expenses

What are SING! expenses?

SING! expenses are the amount of money spent on SING!. SING! expenditure can be split into two types: production-specific and general. The general expenditure includes the Galaxy Budget, DVD production, technical tools, apparel, playbills, and concessions. The production-specific expenses are mainly reimbursements for expenses such as costumes.

How does the SU ensure that all SING! expenses are efficiently managed?

The SU follows a very strict system for any SING! expenditures and reimbursements to make sure all money is being appropriately spent. Students must fill out a pre-approval form before they purchase something for any production. After the form has been signed by a faculty advisor, the student may purchase the item. Once the item is purchased, the student fills out the staple form with the actual receipt. Upon the advisor’s approval, the Budget Directors assigned to that SING! will then fill out the Request for Expenditure form so that the student can be reimbursed.

How do allocations and expenses differ?

Ultimately, expenses are taken out of the allocations. The allocations are the amount of money given by the SU to fund SING!, Caucus events, and Club Pubs.

What is SING! revenue? How does the SU make profit from SING!?

SING! revenue is the turnover the SU receives for holding SING!. SING! revenue is derived from ticketing and apparel sales. SING! revenue also comes from dues paid by each participant. However, the dues are always spent on materials needed to produce each SING!. Last year, the revenue increased because of the rise in SING! dues, which will most likely stay the same or slowly increase.

Profit from SING! is the difference between the revenue and expenses. The SU incorporates this profit for other projects and for their safety net in case of financial emergency or urgent need for money.

Why did the SING! profit decrease heavily from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018?

The profits decreased because the administration does not pay for faculty fees, or the Galaxy Budget of $25,000 for advisor salaries. This expense is taken out of the SING! revenue; however, in the past, the SU has received aid from the Alumni Association to cover this expense.