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PASSHE funding rule limits Student Activity Fund for non-credit campus groups

Shaun Lucas
Associate News Editor

In the spring semester of 2019, the Student Government Association’s (SGA) passed a guideline with clubs and organizations required for major programs: any clubs and/or organizations which students can get credit for will not be funded by student activity fee. In this, the Student Government Association’s enforcement of the guideline affects many ensembles and clubs at Millersville’s “Tell School of Music.” The SGA based the policy on Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) policy “1989-05-A: Student Fees.”

The SGA follows a set of financial guidelines created over multiple years. The guidelines are revised annually, with a variety of student representatives influencing any changes. The funding which SGA provides comes from the “Student Activity Fee” included within Millersville’s cost of attendance. In order for a group to be funded by the SGA, the club/organization’s leader must fill out a form on the SGA’s “get involved” page, requesting the type of funding to suit the club’s needs.

At the beginning of the academic year, club leaders must review the SGA guidelines, ensuring the requested funding fits among proper rulings.

Among the clubs and organizations on campus, many of the groups pertaining to musical performance and production. In fact, many music majors are required to enroll in six semesters of at least one music ensemble earning proper credits. Four of these ensembles are to be paid for as credits. While all these groups allow for a variety of experiences for music students and enthusiasts, they can accumulate high costs for the student activity’s fee due to constant updates in equipment and technology.

“For most of the ensembles the money is used to get new music, fix equipment, or hire professional musicians to come in and perform,” Jimmy Williams, President and Head Drum Major of the MU Marching Band, said. “For the marching band, we have to pay for band camp food fees, busses, new equipment, fixing equipment, and now new uniforms because the band has grown 20 percent from last year to this year.”

The question becomes how the groups will be funded without the SGA’s assistance. Many believe the music ensembles would become funded by the university, along with a higher reliance on independent fundraising events.

“I’m more than willing to discuss possible solutions with representatives from the music department,” John Tintera, President of the SGA, said.

If you have any concerns about how the guidelines may affect your club/organization, SGA meetings are Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at SMC Room 118, open to the student body and Millersville staff. The SGA Finance Committee meets on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at SMC Room 202.