Student committees and organizations were asked to give back some funds, as some organizations do not spend all of the funds that they received in their budget, as a result of the $1.3 million shortfall.
The shortfall is a result of multiple factors that include the federal government’s change in the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and the recent elimination of summer semester PELL grants. Fewer students were also eligible for financial aid this year compared to previous years, which had a direct impact on enrollment.
President Suzanne Shipley previously stated the shortfall should not have much of an effect on students.
Shipley said, “There should not be an impact on students other than sharing the discomfort of faculty and staff as they have fewer resources to try to do the things faculty and staff need to do to keep current in their disciplines.”
A number of student groups, however, have been asked to give back money that they do not have plans to spend based on budget spending from last year.
Vice President of Student Affairs Tom Segar stresses that the overall aspiration is not to take everything away from the organizations.
Segar said, “The goal is not to take away all of their money. The administration does not take anything away from SGA. Everyone is just being asked to look at their budget and possibly give back what they do not need or do not plan to spend.”
The university struggles to overcome the shortfall with fewer students enrolled. Nick Mummert, treasurer of the Student Government Association, has worked very closely with Vice President for Administration and Finance Deborah Judd.
The administration has worked to establish trust and honesty with Shepherd’s student leaders. Several organizations have been asked for money, including Sans Merci, PASS, Program Board, the Shepherd debate and forensics team, and many more.
Segar said the money that was given back by the groups was to be used for the fall semester but had not yet been.
Segar said, “The good part about this is that groups have willingly given back. The one thing about Shepherd is that this is the most student-centered campus that a student can find. We’re very welcoming, embracing. The beauty is that these groups are actually cooperating and finding ways to give back to the institution.”
The organizations were not forced to give any money back, according to Segar.
Segar said, “The great thing is that every institutional unit and department has worked diligently to adjust to this shortfall. We’ve looked at our expenses and trends from last year to check where we didn’t spend all of our money. No student group is being made to suffer or not get to do what they need to do.”