Student Government, Fulmont College Association at odds over student funds, staffing

By Tim Everhardt

The Fulmont College Association and the Student Government Association are currently embroiled in a battle over a financial issue that impacts all clubs.

FCA oversees the Raider Trader, food services, Campus View and bookkeeping for SGA.

SGA receives all student activities fees and disburses to clubs, sports, entertainment and itself.

An outside auditor of the SGA financial records has recommended that all unspent money raised by the clubs be swept into the SGA general fund at the end of the year. SGA contends FCA only provides bookkeeping services, not oversight.

SGA kept unofficial records of club income and expenses that FCA took and turned into an official set of books.

At a recent meeting of the E-Board, SGA President William Hewitt said FCA board member and FMCC President, Dustin Swanger told him, that there will be changes. Hewitt also said he feels that FCA are threatened by SGA’s independence.

Office Manager, Brenda Darling has served for 16 years. Her day was spent in the SGA office, located in the lower level of the student union, where she could handle SGA matters while the members of the Executive Board were in class.

This all changed over the summer when, without a senate vote, FCA decided to reduce Darling’s involvement by chopping the hours she is actually in the SGA office by almost 40 percent and forbidding her from discussing finances with members of the E-Board, says SGA Treasurer Sonali Kumar.

As she has been in the position of SGA office manager for so long, she has become well versed in the SUNY mandated guidelines that the college adheres to, Kumar said.

“She is aware of all the policies and I do not think there is anyone on campus who knows the policies as well as her,” says SGA Treasurer Sonali Kumar, who took office this year.

Kumar admits to not knowing what she was doing when she took office, as is the case with most new jobs. It would be to her, and by extension all students’ benefits for her to be able to learn from Darling who has experience and knowledge of the policies. FCA’s new bookkeeper, Theresa Butkevitch, is very qualified but is not familiar with SUNY’s guidelines, said Kumar.

FCA would prefer professionals to handle finances rather than students whose main focus is school, Swanger said.

Swanger, who attended the E-Board meeting said he was there to listen to SGA’s concerns and will then meet with a management team before making a decision as to how to go forward.

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