Most cost centers receive requested increases
The UCSU Legislative Council was in a giving mood Thursday night, passing the final cost center budgets and voting to approve increases for a variety of cost centers including the UMC, SORCE and the Women’s Resource Center.
The final total amount of student fee dollars came to $18.43 million or $335.15 per student. This is an increase of $18.80 per student from last year or 5.9 percent. Most of Legislative Council said they were happy with the way the budget turned out.
“Overall it’s pretty good,” said Representative-at-Large Chance Heath, a junior international affairs major. “I wanted to be more conscious of not increasing student fees, and I’m comfortable with the budget.”
Heath authored the budget amendment to fund the CU Gold program through the UMC, which proved to be the most contentious decision of the night. The program, which works with students to provide leadership opportunities on campus and in the community, has been fighting for funding since budget preparations began close to a month ago.
Heath and other Gold supporters, such as Representative-at-large Daniel Ramos, said funding CU Gold would provide leadership opportunities other programs on campus don’t provide.
“This program has done amazing work throughout its existence,” Heath said.
Those who did not support funding CU Gold, including Legislative Council President Boyce Postma, said there are other programs that did the same kind of work.
“I would not like to fund this program at all,” Postma, a senior architecture major, said. “Other cost centers do the same thing Gold is going to be doing.”
Heath’s amendment passed by a vote of 12 to 5, giving CU Gold $26,000 in student fees.
The major funding battle was fought over SORCE. They asked for funding for a program assistant that would help with supervising the current staff and other professional duties. While their request did not make it into the first reading of the bill on Mar. 6, Ramos offered an Amendment that cut one hourly student position and funded the requested full time job.
Ramos and others who favored the increase said the position was vital to the future growth of SORCE as a cost center.
“Where we’ve come from is amazing, where we can go is even further,” said Israel Garcia, a senior political science and sociology major and inter-campus liaison for SORCE.
Several members of the council said they didn’t see a reason that a full-time professional was needed to do the work a student could do.
“I haven’t seen any specific reason why it needs to be a full-time versus a half-time,” said Heath.
Postma agreed, adding many students and staff worked hard at their jobs for relatively low pay.
“Just because they’re working hard doesn’t mean we should pay them more,” he said.
In the end, Postma and Heath’s arguments were apparently unconvincing as the council passed Ramos’ amendment by a vote of 9 to 8. The amendment provides $38,000 for the new job.
Other increases include $7,000 in operating and wage increases for Program Council, $29,500 for a renovation of the Women’s Locker Room at the Rec Center and $8,000 in operating and travel expenses for the Women’s Resource Center.
After the grueling four and a half hour meeting, council members said they were relieved the budget process was finished and surprised by how smooth it was. Tri-executive Charles Gilford, a junior management major, said he’s seen budget meetings go until three or four in the morning and that this year’s budget was a lot smoother, compared to previous years.
“You just witnessed a miracle,” Gilford said. “This was a phenomenally orchestrated budget.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Rob Ryan at email@example.com