“Big 3” Cost Centers present budget proposals
It is just minutes away from the start of Legislative Council’s hearing for the budget’s of the “Big 3” cost centers on campus, including Wardenburg, the Rec Center and the UMC. Legislative Council President Boyce Postma approaches the crowd and asks if anyone would like to speak during the open forum. There sits a group of students, clad in bright gold CU spirit shirts with chest-long name tags reading “I am GOLD,” marking them as members of the CU GOLD student leadership group. The group is looking to gain funding under the umbrella of the UMC budget, but were not included in the recommendations from Finance Board.
The meeting is called to order and moves to open hearing.
The first member of the audience to speak is one of the members of CU GOLD in attendance. He is Mohammed Khan, a freshman biochemistry major and student group liason on the CU GOLD advisory board. Khan commends the council for its support of the group in its meeting two weeks ago. He is speaking of the benefits CU GOLD provides to students on campus. These include workshops offered to students and groups, and its core leadership program. He says GOLD is part of the valuable 75 percent of education that happens outside the classroom.
Khan is the only person to address the council.
Gary Chadwick, director of the Rec Center and Wardenburg, comes up to address the council with regards to Finance Board’s recommendations for Wardenburg’s budget.
“The enhancements are needed enhancements, especially the IT enhancement,” he said, regarding the additions approved by Finance Board to monitor Wardenburg’s IT system and make secure its student medical records.
Lindsay Monett, a senior integrative physiology major and chair of Wardenburg student health board, goes over other specifics of the budget, along with Chadwick.
Postma requests that Wardenburg go over its enhancements and their benefits to the students. Chadwick begins with the management of the health center’s IT servers.
“The liability here is that if we have a breach into the records at Wardenburg, it could not only involve identity theft, but even worse, it could involve medical records,” Chadwick said.
The second enhancement is a continuing education enhancement for professional and classified staff within Wardenburg.
The third enhancement is to improve the Wardenburg Health Center Marketing Program.
“My thought it that if we can market the student health care plan…we could increase our revenue,” Chadwick said.
These three enhancements are proposed to be covered through SOR requests, as per the recommendation from Finance Board.
Chadwick remains at the table, this time flanked by members of the Rec Center board. Hearing of the Rec Center budget has begun.
Luke Morin, a senior news-editorial major and chair of the Rec Board, says the Rec Center is experiencing a period of transition between directors. Chadwick is currently fulfilling those duties, along with serving as the director of Wardenburg.
One enhancement the Rec Center is looking to install is a lightning warning prediction system. Chadwick says, although there have been no incidents on campus thus far, having a system like this is becoming common in the industry. And, if an incident were to happen, he said the first thing a lawyer would look at is what trends the industry is leaning toward, and CU shouldn’t be caught behind.
Another enhancement is the expansion of the women’s locker room, including an area for stretching.
“A lot of the women actually like working out in the locker room … because they don’t feel as comfortable [stretching] in the weight room,” Chadwick said.
One last enhancement for the Rec Center is improving the efficiency of steam valves at the Rec Center, improving the energy efficiency of the cost center.
Chadwick said the lightning prediction system would come out of the Rec Center’s fund balance, with the women’s locker room renovation coming out of SOR. Again, these are based on the recommendations from Finance Board.
There are no questions from the board to the Rec Center.
The UMC now approaches the council. UMC director Carlos Garcia points out that there are three different areas of the UMC budget. Along with the budget for the UMC, they also assume responsibility for Night Ride and Program Council.
Garcia wants to go directly to question and answer from the council, but Postma requests that they first go over their enhancements. Garcia begins with enhancements for the proper UMC (Night Ride and Program Council will come later).
One enhancement he points out is a rise in operating costs that will cover miscellaneous expenses and continue to provide entertainment for the patrons. A separate enhancement has been put aside for the a rise in student salary benefits. Garcia said that not all the jobs the UMC offers are very glamorous (picking up trash, etc.) and thus it can be hard to make sure these positions are always filled. Providing more benefits would help with this, he said.
And, of course, discussion goes on regarding CU GOLD. Garcia said that, right now, the group does not receive consistent funding. In past years, some of their funds have come from the CU Bookstore.
Garcia moves on to discussing the budget for Program Council. Finance Board approves 0 percent plus unduckables, and does not approve any of the enhancements they had requested. One of these would be funding that would assist in the large concert that Program Council likes to put on later in the year, usually in April.
Garcia said there are two ways that Program Council brings in an act; either they themselves pay to bring in the group or artist or they work with a separate promotions company to secure these.
Postma asks, if Program Council does not receive its additional requested funding, whether they would dip into the money for bringing smaller events (such as Club 156 shows) to bring in the bigger shows, such as one for the Counting Crows that they are working to bring to campus. This is met with a lukewarm response, as the Program Council members say they very much value their smaller events.
With no further questions, Program Council is dismissed to make way for Night Ride. Night Ride representatives make their presentation to Legislative Council. It is brief, with no questions from Legislative Council. They leave with Garcia along with them.
Postma addresses the council as to what will be covered when the “Big 3” come in for their second hearing. Postma said that these three cost centers will not have the chance for another hearing after that. Postma continues, saying that the remaining cost centers will come in tomorrow evening to do the same as the “Big 3” have just done.
Vice President Dustin Farivar takes final attendance and the meeting is adjourned.