Dissecting the budget
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.
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.