One student asks if UCSU members are listening
Legislative Council held the second and final hearing for the 2007 cost-center budgets Thursday night.
The crowd of observers and protesters was so large that the meeting moved from its original conference room into the West Dining Area of the UMC.
The meeting began as an open forum for students to express their feelings about the bills being voted on.
Chuck Stout, the Boulder public health director spoke out in support of the sexual health awareness programs. He said the decisions that are made by UCSU affect the CU community as whole.
“This is a black eye on the community and relationships,” said Chuck Stout, director of the Boulder County Health Department. “I ask you to please reconsider.”
Other students spoke to support Program Council, Night Ride and the Cultural Events Board. Student supporters said cutting CEB would reduce funding to diversity groups on campus.
Student speaker Brendan Snow, a senior political science major, expressed frustration at senators Scott McEachron and Jessica Langfeldt for laughing and whispering during his speech.
“Are you even listening?” Snow asked.
His comment was followed by loud applause from the audience. Another student said it was frustrating for him to sit back and watch UCSU members because they looked like they weren’t even listening.
Upon discussion from the council, some UCSU senators appeared to be on the side of the protesting students. Obi Onyeali, a senator from the College of Arts and Sciences and a sophomore psychology major, said the decision of Finance Board wasn’t a compromise as board members said because students were not satisfied.
Jen Gassner, a senator from the College of Arts and Sciences, asked Finance Board Co-Chairman James Rachlin, a series of questions. One was whether Rachlin and his board would do the budgets differently if the budgets were sent back to the Finance Board. Rachlin said he could not speak for the board as a whole, but he said he would not take back his own decisions.
Controversy arose over the budgets because some students cannot afford any more increases in student fees. Senator Anthony Morfa, representing graduate students, calculated that students who are currently sophomores will be paying more than $1,600 in student fees when they are seniors if UCSU continues to accommodate the needs of cost centers. However, other students believe an increase in student fees is acceptable as long as cost centers such as Wardenburg keep programs like Community Health afloat.
An amendment written by McEachron and Taylor Portman, also a UCSU senator, was presented to the council and later amended. The legislation is entitled 2007-2008 Appropriations Bill and included 13 titles that proposed further cuts to cost centers.
The Appropriations Bill proposed further cuts for some cost centers and budget increases for others. The bill proposed that the Rec Center be given $4,994,379 as opposed to the previously proposed $4,786,104.
However, some of the smaller programs, like Program Council, which was said to be a luxury program and not a necessity, took a large hit. UCSU agreed to give Program Council $132,000, and not the requested $197,009.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated of readings came next: that of the Wardenburg budget. Portman and McEachron said Wardenburg and its underlying programs were spending money frivolously on marketing items, such as lip gloss and chocolate lips. Portman said he didn’t see how lip gloss aided in community health or sexual awareness.
Proposals to grant Wardenburg with a $3.8 million blanket budget failed. Vice President Megan Canon proposed a $3.78 million blanket budget that also failed.
After much discussion and many proposed and failed amendments by various senators, it was finally proposed that Wardenburg receive $3.75 million.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Vanna Livaditis at email@example.com.