Representatives from various student groups attended Thursday night’s UCSU legislative council meeting to make final appeals about the prospect of increasing their funds for next year.
The process of making such appeals has been on-going for several weeks.
The procedure for these student groups in asking for an increase in allocated funds includes making an appeal to UCSU’s finance board, which then makes recommendations to UCSU’s legislative council about the amounts allocated for each group and cost center. UCSU’s legislative council then discusses the amounts requested and makes their final decision.
On Thursday, UCSU passed the final budget that will increase funding for some CU student groups for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, but not all.
The Rec Center and the UMC both experienced budget cuts of roughly 1 percent. The Rec Center lost $61,459 and the UMC lost $58,324 in operational fees, according to the UCSU finance board.
Some groups were able to get budget increases. The Women’s Resource Center walked away with enhancements, according to the UCSU finance board.
The Women’s Resource Center was allocated an approximate increase of $9,000, bringing their total funding for the 2010-2011 year to over $276,000, according to the UCSU finance board.
But each cost center had multiple requests for funding based on their specific needs.
The Women’s Resource Center had three separate requests, and despite their overall funding increase, not all of their allocations were approved. One such request that was not approved was an appeal for an increase of funds to cover marketing needs.
Barbara Kulton, director of the Women’s Resource Center, said she’s disappointed that funds weren’t allocated for their marketing needs.
“Traditionally and historically, marginalized and underrepresented communities have always been expected to know how to do well with less, and we have to change that,” said Kulton. “So we will make it work and we’ll have to see what we’ll have to let go of.”
The Cultural Events Board was another group that saw increases. They received an increase of approximately $5,500 for the 2010-2011 year, totaling to over $451,000, according to the UCSU finance board.
Chris Mulvany, a senior international affairs major and member of the Cultural Events Board said he was happy with the monies allocated but disappointed they did not receive more, which might mean fewer events in the future.
Along with other groups, the Environmental Center and Program Council saw increases of $2,200 and $18,000 respectively, according to UCSU finance board. In addition, the UCSU legislative council passed a budget of over $582,000 for fiscal year 2010-2011 that included increased fund allocation for travel expenses.
The allocation of these funds is not without an effect on the student body as a whole. Average student fees for the funding of student groups are projected to increase by $12.74 per semester, said Rodrigo Gonzalez, a 21-year-old senior chemical and biological engineering major and the chair of the UCSU finance board.
“I would hope that the student representatives-at-large would be very cautious with any other increases due to the current economic climate and possible 9 percent increase in tuition,” Gonzalez said.
Daniel Ramos, a 22-year-old UCSU tri-executive and senior sociology and Spanish major said he is pleased with the funds that were allocated for UCSU and the budgeting process overall.
“I think [UCSU] found some really great ways to use our budget most efficiently. I think travel was one of the areas where we saw some improvement,” Ramos said. “I think it was pretty fair overall. I think there are a lot of needs that sometimes make the decisions a little more difficult than others.”
But despite the lack of funding for the various needs of each of these groups, some group leaders remain confident that students will continue to utilize these groups as resources on campus.
“We’ve had to let go of a lot of things over the years and we provide some great services and the students know that,” Kulton said.
The budget will be passed on to the regents before finalized.