Student Life Council Discusses University Finances


The university held its final Student Life Council (SLC) meeting of the semester on Wednesday, May 3 to discuss university finances. (Courtesy of Unsplash)

The university held its final Student Life Council (SLC) meeting of the semester on Wednesday, May 3 to discuss university finances. 

Newly-elected members of campus organizations were welcomed to the meeting, including representatives from the Commuter Student Association (CSA), Campus Activities Board (CAB) and various other clubs. The SLC also welcomed Martha Hirst, Fordham’s senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer.  

The meeting opened with questions from the gallery. Deborah Adebanjo, FCRH ’26, raised concerns about Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) funding and the Graduate Student Workers Union. 

Following public comments, Hirst, who is leaving her position in early July, presented an update on the FY23 budget and discussed the FY24 operating budget. 

Hirst said that Fordham’s endowment has continued to grow, and that it recently hit one billion dollars.

Hirst also provided a breakdown of Fordham’s sources of revenue and discussed the tuition increase. She said that the Board of Trustees is mindful of the increase. Hirst also provided a breakdown of Fordham’s present expenses. She said that the university’s utility costs have increased due to inflation. 

In her FY23 budget update, Hirst said that Fordham maintains a balanced budget of $716.7 million in revenue and $716.7 million of expenses. 

Hirst said that the unexpected increase in the number of undergraduates enrolled resulted in almost 8 million additional dollars for the university. She also said that Fordham experienced a decrease in graduate student enrollment, resulting in a loss of nearly 15 million dollars.

She also discussed the affecting factors on the FY24 operating budget, citing them as salary, wages, financial aid discount rates, fringe benefits, retirement benefits, taxes and enrollment rates.

Next, Hirst presented the FY24 proposed operating budget. Hirst said that the operating budget is expected to rise 2.1% in FY24, to $731.7 million. She said that Fordham has received $20 million in government grants. 

Following the operating budget, Hirst presented the proposed expenses budget for FY24.  

Hirst said that Fordham has budgeted for operating expenses to rise by 2.1%. She explained that the rise will be the result of 3-4.5% rate increases, offset by 1% in headcount reductions.  

She also mentioned that the university is planning to trim expenses by eliminating the unnecessary catering of certain events and that Fordham is in the midst of renegotiating bookstore contracts.

Following Hirst’s presentation, the meeting was opened up for public questions. A student in the gallery raised concerns about prioritizing funding for improving the dorm conditions.

Hirst said that funding for dorm conditions are a part of the capital budget, and that they are not included in the operating budget.

Next, the United Student Government (USG) presented their annual spring report. 

Chair of the USG Operations Committee, Lauren Walczyk, FCRH ’25,  discussed the mandatory club operations packet. Walczyk said that 143 out of 166 continuing clubs submitted the packet. She said that 23 clubs did not submit and that 16 clubs submitted late.

Chair of the Budget Committee, Eron Maltzman, GSB ’25, presented on USG fund allocations. He said that USG had an estimated $519,000 of funds to allocate to student clubs and organizations. Of the funds, Maltzman said $518,497.17 were allocated with only $502.99 remaining. He said that USG successfully allocated over 65% of the requested funding, and that a common reason for fund denial was due to unverified backup documentation.

Chair of the Student Experience Committee, Brian Inguanti, FCRH ’24, presented a summary of the spring 2023 programming events held by USG. He highlighted Keating Steps and the Beacon Exemplar Awards as two successful events. Inguanti said that this year the committee presented a record high number of awards at the Beacon Exemplar Awards.

Executive President of USG, Santiago Vidal, FCRH ’23, presented the Executive Report. Vidal said that USG passed a record number of proposals and statements in both the fall and the spring semesters.

Vidal also highlighted several successful events hosted by USG, including the Committee on Sexual Misconduct’s Week of Action, Earth Week, Bronx Appreciation Week and USG’s Annual Art Show.  

Vidal also spoke about the USG proposal to increase student activities funds. The goal of the proposal was to continue normal club budgeting and combat inflation. Vidal said that 7.88% of the Fordham community responded to the proposal, which was not enough participation for it to pass. 

Following the spring report, the SLC voted on the fall 2023 budget. The budget was approved. 

Next, the SLC received semester updates from several student-run clubs and organizations. 

A representative from CSA said that the organization recently voted for their new executive board and that they will hold a general election in the fall. 

The Residence Hall Association’s (RHA) student representative said that the club held executive board elections last week. The representative also acknowledged that Fordham Dance Marathon hit a fundraising record and that RHA hosted a successful Rose Ball. 

A representative from CAB introduced the SLC to the incoming CAB president and summarized the events of Spring Weekend. The representative said that the week’s events were well attended and that although the concert was indoors, there were still about 1,800 attendees. 

Representatives for the Gabelli School of Business and Fordham College of Rose Hill both stated that they are gearing up for graduation and working to plan award ceremonies and commencement. 

A representative for campus operations said that the McShane Campus Center arcade should be ready in the fall. 

Dean of Students at Rose Hill Christopher Rodgers, concluded the final SLC meeting of the semester by congratulating the council on their accomplishments and thanking all involved seniors for their participation.