The Student Senate budget has a larger chunk of change to work with this year than in years past.
The budget increased from $5,400 last year to $7,500 this year, an increase of nearly 40 percent, Senate Treasurer Owen Irwin said.
“By cutting Web site expenses and the Activities Fair booth, we have saved a significant amount of money this year,” he said. “We will primarily be using this extra money for officer compensation. Compared to other universities, our officers are not compensated very well.”
Outside of officer compensation, administrative costs such as office supplies and advertising are also on the budget.
This year, some of the budget increase will be used to set up a Special Needs Fund, Irwin said. Money put in this fund will be set aside for expenses that come up later on in the year.
“In the past, we always have ideas in the spring or late first semester, but we don’t have the money to spend,” he said. “We always need money and sometimes by second semester it’s just not there.”
Irwin said he hopes the Special Needs Fund will solve this problem.
“I think it’s a good idea to save your money and pace your spending so you still have money left at the end of the year,” said freshman theatre major Julian Stroop. “That is what I do when I have to budget.”
The goal of Senate’s budgeting is to allow it to spend more money later in the year too.
“Now if there is a cause, program or tragedy in the spring and we would like to get involved we will be able to donate,” Irwin said. “We can use the money for entrance fees or programs that Senate sponsors like political forums.”
Irwin said he wants the Special Needs Fund and the budget increase to make Senate more involved on campus.
“Our goal with the budget is to make Student Senate more visible in places like the [Michel] Student Center,” Irwin said.
Freshman mechanical engineering major Nick Popravak said he believes Senate efforts like this are helping Bradley.
“I feel like this school has so much to offer,” he said. “We are given lots of opportunities and Student Senate is a big part of that. Student Senate is doing a great job.”
Despite student optimism, Irwin said he is still looking to get more student involvement in the budget and Senate in general.
“Students can suggest programs or events that they want to be sponsored to their senators,” he said. “Better yet, they can run for a Senate seat.”
Despite two seats being filled on Monday, there are still more than 10 empty seats.