Legislative Council meets with Wardenburg, Rec Center and UMC
After receiving the recommendations of Finance Board, UCSU cost centers took their proposed budgets to Legislative Council for further discussion.
On Wednesday evening, Legislative Council heard from the “Big 3” cost centers: Wardenburg, the Rec Center and the UMC. Directors and board members from each center had the opportunity to review which enhancements and cuts had been considered by Finance Board and what they would mean for their provided services to students.
This meeting was considerably shorter than last year’s UCSU budget hearings, which lasted from 7:00 p.m. until nearly 2:00 a.m.
“There were more contentious issues at the table (last year), plus all cost centers were discussed at the same time,” said Legislative Council vice president Dustin Farivar, a junior political science and sociology major.
Legislative Council president Boyce Postma, a senior architecture major, said Finance Board’s recommendations this year are less controversial.
“Last year, Finance Board suggested many cuts,” he said. “This year, Finance Board suggested many enhancements.”
Postma also said cost centers had already been making reports on what their budget would look like, so lengthy explanations could be avoided at this point in the process.
“I felt that it went very smoothly,” Postma said. “The council is already fairly informed and prepared.”
Wardenburg was the first center to approach the Council. Director Gary Chadwick went over the three proposed enhancements, which had all been approved by Finance Board to be funded through the Supplemental Operations Reserve, leftover funds from the previous year. The first is the creation of new positions to monitor and secure their 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 other two enhancements were continuing education for professional and classified staff, and improving the Wardenburg Health Center Marketing Program.
Chadwick said he thinks marketing the student health care plan could increase revenue.
After Wardenburg’s hearing had concluded, Chadwick stayed for the council’s hearing of the Rec Center budget. Chadwick currently serves as the director for both cost centers.
One of the enhancements for the Rec Center is the installation of a lightning prediction warning system that would serve all of campus. Chadwick said that lightning strikes are common in Colorado, and that having such a system is becoming common within the industry.
Another of the Rec Center’s enhancements is the expansion of the women’s locker room to include an area for stretching. Chadwick said that many women do like working out and stretching in the locker room. Both of these enhancements had been approved by Finance Board to be funded through secondary funding source, such as SOR or the center’s fund balance.
Following the Rec Center’s hearing, Legislative Council heard from the UMC. Director Carlos Garcia said Finance Board had approved two of the center’s enhancements, including increases in operating expenses and student salary benefits. He said many of the student employee positions in the UMC are somewhat undesirable, making it a challenge to have them consistently filled.
The majority of the discussion centered on the CU GOLD student leadership program, an enhancement for the UMC not approved by Finance Board. Supporters of CU GOLD attended, wearing gold CU spirit shirts with large labels across their chest, reading “I am GOLD.”
CU GOLD stands for “Gaining Opportunities through Leadership Development.” The group is looking to gain consistent funding to accommodate more students in its core leadership program and provide more workshops to student groups.
The remaining cost centers are set to have separate meetings with Legislative Council on Thursday evening. As of right now, based on the recommendations made by Finance Board, the total rise in student fees would total approximately $16.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer George Plaven at George.Plaven@colorado.edu.