Budget ready for president

After weeks of appeals and deliberation, the Student Senate has approved the Student Fee Committee’s final budget allocation, totaling $13,151,580, for the 2010–11 fiscal year.

After weeks of appeals and deliberation, the Student Senate has approved the Student Fee Committee’s final budget allocation, totaling $13,151,580, for the 2010–11 fiscal year.
At its meeting on March 30, after reviewing the initial budget, the Student Senate submitted recommendations for the SFC to consider. Increases to several different groups’ budgets were proposed, and overall, the SFC responded to all of the requests. The SFC’s total allocation was a 2.75 percent increase from the 2009–10 fiscal year. The budget will now be presented to the university president for the final approval process.

Among the several recommendations proposed by the senate was a re-examination of the Greek Council’s budget. However, the only adjustments that were made were related to its stipends, DJ services and travel budget.

“There were no specifics regarding the purpose of the [senate’s proposed] examination,” said James Gent, vice chair of the SFC.

In addition, no changes were made to the Organization Budget Council’s budget. According to Gent, “[the OBC] was completely satisfied with its [initial] allocation.”

Though the Student Veterans Association submitted an appeal to its budget, it did not address the issues raised by the senate, which regarded the caps on travel and stipend categories. Gent said that the SFC made it clear that though there were caps put on these categories, the SVA could distribute its travel and stipend funds according to its needs.

However, to reflect the senate’s proposal, the SFC split the SVA’s funds equally between the president and vice-president’s stipends “for clarity.”

The senate originally recommended that the Multicultural Center’s budget be reexamined to restore its co-sponsorship and Peer 2 Peer mentoring programs. In regards to the co-sponsorship, the SFC argued that the costs of events supported by the Multicultural Center be reflected in the appropriate budget.

The SFC’s response to the recommendation read, “Without the evidence of true cost, it allows the budget with this kind of line item to… become another funding body of state money that has had no viewpoint neutrality training or training within the scope of allocating state finances.”

In addition, a coordinating position was funded to act in an administrative role for the Peer 2 Peer mentoring programs.

According to the SFC’s response to the senate recommendations, no changes were made to the Jim Sells Childcare Assistance Program, as “childcare, as a whole, received a five percent increase.”

Gent said that while increased funding would be beneficial, the program did not appeal the initial budget allocation.

Las Mujeres received an additional $100 to cover events hosted by the group. According to Gent, a doubled line item in the student group’s budget allowed the SFC to increase its funding. Overall, Las Mujeres received an adjusted allocation of $11,221.

KPSU received a $21,566 increase, resulting in a total allocation of $176,429. According to the SFC’s statement, the SFC predicts that KSPSU’s demand for DJ services will “create a demand for an increased repertoire within KPSU’s music collection.” As a result, $5,000 was placed in a designated reserve to cover this cost. In addition, $15,000 was placed in reserve for the purpose of increasing stipends, due to the SFC’s “routing of DJ services of KPSU.”

PSU’s debate team received a $24,960 increase in funds, raising its total allocation to $54,184. However, most of that money is in designated reserve unless the debate team meets certain requirements, such as finding other possible avenues of funding, understanding the SFC funding levels will likely decrease in the future and that only “necessary” team members will travel.

“Given that [the debate team’s] mission is unique, and that it is solely based around competitive travel…[its mission] was completely hindered by the original allocation,” Gent said.