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Dissecting the budget

Proposal would increase senior class council funding, encourage major speaker, put AC funding up in the air

Click on a segment of the 2011 to 2012 Student Union Budget to learn more about how the budget is allocated.

David Seigle | Student Life

The proposed Student Union budget for 2011-2012 will be presented to Senate and Treasury on Wednesday for a vote. The joint SU session will be held in Simon Hall at 9 p.m. and will be open to all students.

The budget is taken from the Student Activity Fee, an undergraduate fee equal to 1 percent of tuition. The proposed budget amounts to $2,484,907, compared to $2,375,820 for 2010-2011. The change is due to the tuition increase announced earlier this year and assumes an undergraduate population of 6,050—which doesn’t include students who go abroad.

Junior Cody Katz, vice president of finance, compiled the budget after meeting with student group leaders and administrators to determine how to allocate funds.

While the new budget closely follows last year’s, there are a number of notable changes.

Potential elimination of Athletic Complex funding

The current proposed budget does not include funding for the Athletic Complex. Last year, SU paid $25,000 for students to use the AC for free. If SU does not pay for the AC next year, students will likely have to pay $45 to use the cardio room. The weight room and other facilities will still be available to students free of charge.

According to Katz, SU may choose to allocate money for the AC over the summer, using unused funds from last year. Katz will be working to gather student input before making this final decision.

Large Speaker Appeal Fund

To encourage SU Treasury to fund one major speaker for the coming year, Katz has allotted $115,000 in a separate, large speaker appeal account. While Katz envisions this funding as going toward one speaker, Treasury will be able to put this toward multiple speakers or return the money to the general appeals account if it wishes to spend the money otherwise.

This fund is intended to encourage Treasury representatives to fund one major speaker. Treasury denied a request of over $100,000 to finance a talk given by Bill Maher.

Class Councils

Katz’s version of the budget allocates $50,000 to the senior class council, up from $37,000 this year. Because the senior class council’s budget was cut down from $50,000 two years ago, every senior class council has appealed for executive funds to help pay for Senior Week and the Senior Class Trip. These events usually add up to about $50,000, and Katz hopes the extra funding will eliminate the additional appeals process.

The proposed budget would also cut $5,000 from the Joint Class Council Programming fund. Katz hopes this will encourage class councils to use the executive appeals account for class-specific programming and not just joint programming.

Social Programming Board: Co-programming

This new appeals account will provide $15,000 for student groups to work with other programming committees to plan new events and campus traditions without cutting into other limited social programming funds.

Operating Budget: Salaries

Under the proposed budget, the allocation for SU salaries will rise by $91,000, accounting for around 13 percent of the group’s overall budget. Much of this increase will go toward paying a newly hired technology coordinator, who will work on repairing and streamlining SU operations and other technology-related contributions.


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  • Anonymous says:

    It is unacceptable that you cannot find 1% of a $2.5 million dollar budget to guarantee use of the fitness center for all students. It really doesn’t make any sense that our Student Union, who handles “one of the largest budgets of any student government in the country” doesn’t have enough money to fund the pathetic fitness center.

    You are going to let $115,000 sit and wait for someone to appeal a “large speaker” to come to campus? Why? So that a vastly minute portion of students can witness the event at no cost, while a majority of the students either don’t even know it happens or don’t care regardless? You could slash all $25,000 needed for the fitness center JUST from that part of the budget and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference in the student body. But instead, you make people pay for the most basic part of a students activity fee: access to a fitness center.

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    • so says:

      yeah, but the cardio room in the AC sucks right now. I’d rather pay to go to the 40

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    • Marc says:

      I am almost sure that the budget for the AC will be added after the summer from extra unused money retrieved from various clubs. If it isn’t, I am sure we can simply sign a petition and get access back.

      I only run and bike outside, but I believe that cardio fitness is important for all students.


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  • Awesome interactive feature to allow readers to easily dissect the budget themselves! Nice work, David!

    One thought: I’m not quite sure how the sections of the pie chart are ordered. I imagine ordering by amount might make the most sense?

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  • confused says:

    What the hell is “Campus Contributions” ?

    And weren’t we supposed to have a technology coordinator this year? Where is he/she?

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    • slightly clearer says:

      Campus Contributions are things that SU pays to various departments on campus so that way students can have a better experience. Some contributions this year are Newspaper Readership (SU partly pays for USA Today, NYTimes, & Post Dispatch), the Planner all Freshman receive (again, SU pays part of the cost), and the 560 Music Building (that way a cappella groups and dance groups can practice for free).

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    • Mary says:

      Read the article… technology manager is mentioned in the last paragraph

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