Bike Shop Coffers Refilled by SGA

After much deliberation and discussion regarding funding for the Bike Shop, the Student Government Association (SGA) unanimously passed a resolution on Nov. 16 to begin offering funding for the next three semesters.

Originally the Bike Shop was funded through the Physical Plant, but recently Assistant Vice President of Campus Operations Derek Thornton informed senior Paul Parzynski, who manages the Bike Shop, that there was no longer money in the budget to continue funding.

This left the Bike Shop without a way to pay its workers; if employees worked, they did so without compensation.

However, with the recent resolution passed by the SGA, the Bike Shop will now receive almost five thousand dollars a semester for the next three semesters.

The resolution was sponsored by Townhouse Senators senior Frank McGough and junior Katie Caffey, and SGA Vice President senior Ken Benjes and co-sponsored by Student Trustee senior Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall.

Of the five thousand dollars, $100 will be assigned to purchasing parts and the remainder will go toward the payroll, with Bike Shop employees making around $7.25 an hour and managers making around $9.00 an hour.

Thus, the Bike Shop will be funded about fifteen thousand dollars until the end of spring 2012.

The money will come from the SGA’s Special Carryover Fund, since SGA’s operating budget for the coming semester wouldn’t be able to afford the funding. According to Treasurer Matt Smith, senior, the Special Carryover Fund has around $85 thousand.

After funding for the next three semesters has expired, the SGA discussed raising student fees to support the Bike Shop. According to Assistant Dean of Students Kelly Schroeder, fees used to fund student organizations through the SGA haven’t risen in ten years.

The recent increases in student fees, Schroeder explained, have all gone directly to initiatives such as the Green St. Mary’s Revolving Fund, not to the general budget.

Thus, if SGA decides to increase student fees, the additional money would fund not only the Bike Shop, but other student clubs and organizations, though nothing has been resolved as of yet.

Originally, members of the SGA voiced concerns that the Bike Shop currently has no overseeing faculty or staff member to whom employees report, as SafeRide does.

Previously, Thornton oversaw operations, but without funding, the Bike Shop had no faculty or staff member in charge.

Eventually, SGA concluded that the Bike Shop will report to both the Treasurer of the SGA and a St. Mary’s faculty advisor or sponsor. Additionally, funding will not be disbursed until both an oversight structure and a faculty or staff advisor has been approved by the SGA Treasurer.

Parzynski was pleased with the amount of funding and the organizational structure the resolution proposed. “It’s exactly what we wanted–money.” Parzynski also commented that the Bike Shop would not need more than the fifteen thousand dollars they’ve been allotted, nor do they need more than $100 for parts.

The funding will now allow for approximately five to eight employees working around 20 hours a week, including one manager and seven mechanics.

For Parzynski and the Bike Shop, SGA’s funding couldn’t have come sooner.

“We’ve had to fight way too hard to get five grand a semester. Ever since we started we’ve been fighting to stay alive.”