The series concludes with a look at what students have to say.
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.
The UCSU budgeting process has been a learning process for the CU community as a whole. As students are becoming more aware of budgeting issues, they are beginning to form their own ideas on where cuts should be made and about whether they made the right decisions in electing officers who will spend student money wisely.
Until now the voices of the Finance Board, Legislative Council and the cost centers have overshadowed the real driving force behind UCSU: the students.
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
In an attempt to understand what CU students truly think about the UCSU budgeting process, The Campus Press spoke with students on campus as they transitioned between their classes. Although the responses differed from person to person, each discussion had one thing in common: Whether students knew a lot about UCSU or nothing at all, students do care who controls their money, what programs their money goes to support and ultimately what programs are offered.
Lauren Babcock, a junior psychology and elementary education major, said that the programs offered by Wardenburg and the Community Health Program are necessary and important. She said that cutting them would be ridiculous.
“You pay so much to (CU) that I would expect that these programs be here. Free HIV tests should be provided. I think (the) programs they are thinking of cutting are probably the most used and are necessary,” Babcock said.
The controversy lies with the fact that with a campus of over 28,000 students, priorities aren’t always consistent.
Heidi Arnold, a junior broadcast news major, said she is concerned with where her student fee money is going. It was her recommendation that USCU do a better job in allocating spending by asking students for their opinions.
“I’d like to know, where does it really all go?” Arnold said. “For instance, you pay for the Rec. Center, but then you pay extra to take a class there. I think that everything needs to be evaluated, not just these certain programs.”
Some students have important ties with programs that are on the chopping block. Arnold said the Musculoskeletal Injury Clinic offered by Wardenburg helped her as a freshman but that she understands why the STARS program faces cuts.
“I broke my foot freshman year and I can walk now,” Arnold said. “(The physical therapy) really helped me, (but) there are other ways to help substance problems.”
Some students are even placing the blame of the current budgeting processes on themselves, saying that a students vote can be just as harmful as it is beneficial.
“We have nobody to blame but ourselves if we don’t like something (UCSU) does. We elected them,” said Nehemiah Waterland, a junior sociology major.
Stay tuned to thecampuspress.com for live blogs of the Thursday night meetings and breaking developments as they arise.