Past 5 years see hundreds of dollars in student fee increases, allocated for everything from programs to paychecks
This eleven-part series is an in-depth look into the 2007 University of Colorado Student Union budgeting process. Every year, UCSU is charged with distributing more than $30 million in student fees, controlling more money than any other student body in the nation. This series, running over the two-week period that the budgets sit in the hands of the Legislative Council, will explore the process, the people and the effects of the decisions made by your student leaders.
UCSU Budgets 2007: CP’s 11-day Series
Part 1 | The budgeting process – How it works
Part 2 | Ups and downs – Tracking the past
Part 3 | A hardline approach – Determined council seeking 0 percent
Part 4 | Rec Center – Unscathed, but for how long?
Part 5 | UMC – Between a rock and a hard place
Part 6 | Wardenburg – Struggling to stay afloat
Part 7 | Ghosts of budgets past – Previous mistakes haunt Wardenburg today
Part 8 | A community responds – Students on their health center
Part 9 | Taking the brunt – Advocates in danger of losing their programs
Part 10 | Life changer or money waster? Controversial alcohol program on the block
Part 11 | In the public eye – Bracing for the $30 million dollar decisions
Over the past five years UCSU spent a good deal of their time constructing, reviewing, debating and implementing the budget for the various cost centers they control. In 2005, it took nearly six months to complete the budget report.
Since 2001, UCSU raised student fees over $65 per semester. Assuming each student stays at CU for four years, and no more fee increases occur, current freshman are paying over $525 more in UCSU fees than students five years ago.
Boulder Regent Cindy Carlisle said CU is an enterprise. It receives fewer than 10 percent of its funding from the state. Because of this, the students, and their representatives in UCSU, have autonomy as a university organization to do what they want, including increase student fees and tuition.
These fee increases have accompanied a general increase in services for the student body. This year’s budget included allocations for the improvement of Farrand Field currently underway, as well as the renovation of other campus intramural facilities.
“Many of the things on the budget are outdated, and most of the programs don’t do anything for us. I am very supportive of the UCSU trying to make cuts in the budget,” said Sarah Spainhower, a freshman political science major.
In recent years, new programs, such as the Student Outreach Center for Equity and the Neighborhood Ambassador’s Program, have required additional funding.
Throughout the past five years, there have been various state mandated salary increases. Thusly, employees at each of the 15 cost centers required pay increases leading to an increase in student fees and cost center fund distribution.
The Environmental Center, even prior to 2001, has been recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in environmental awareness, according to UCSU budget documents.
Almost every year, since 2001, the budget has provided protections for commitments for environmentally friendly energy generation, as well as energy usage efficiency for the three major cost centers: Wardenburg, the Student Rec Center and the UMC.
These cost centers absorb vast amounts of money from UCSU’s $30 million budget.
Monday: Ruthless approaches to budgets, deficits and failures – Legislative Council pledges to reduce cost increase to nothing
Stay tuned to thecampuspress.com for continued coverage, live blogs of the Thursday night meetings and breaking developments as they arise.