The three largest cost centers on campus are Wardenburg Health Center, the UMC and the Rec Center. UCSU approved over $10 million in the cumulative budgets including enhancements, and there may be more money needed.
The Recreation Center was approved a budget of $5,012,085 and contained three new enhancements: the addition of custodian one and general labor one positions, a $31,000 increase in maintenance and the third enhancement, additional funding of $18,000 to sport clubs, which proved to be the most controversial.
The third amendment for an additional $18,000 is aimed at Wardenburg and CU Health plan, which includes a $22 expense for club sports. This issue was brought about because of a club sports athlete who was injured and found out insurance didn’t cover club sports related injuries.
Over 300 students enrolled in the Gold plan are currently active in club sports. But with the addition of this amendment everyone pays the extra $22; even those students who don’t participate in club sports. Also, the plan will cover students who partake in competition outside of Colorado.
Club sports are no longer allowed to practice on Farrand Field, and as a result more funding is required to offset this reallocation. Most clubs play in the air supported structure commonly known as the Practice Bubble, which also has a higher cost than using fields.
“We’re trying to keep Farrand Field open to the majority of students for drop-in play. The decision was made to benefit all students,” said Cheryl Kent, the Rec Center director.
The Business field is used primarily for rugby home games, while the men’s and women’s teams practice in the bubble. Kittredge fields are used heavily for practice by clubs from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m., but cannot accommodate all the teams.
In past years alum and families have donated money to club sports in order to help compensate for field costs along with team costs. The collection amount to date is thought to be low but essentially unknown.
“We won’t find out until the end of the fiscal year [in May]. Donations from alum and families are not coming in like they have in the past, most likely due to the economy,” Kent said.
With over 880,000 visits a year, the Rec Center is being worn down. With years of wear and tear the center needs money to repair and improve. One idea from Kent is to start from scratch and in doing so it could save the university money in years to come.
“I’m half serious and half joking about this; but we could tear it down, rebuild, and save about 15 years [of repair],” Kent said.
With an extra $31,000 for maintenance the center can gain some breathing room in terms of repair, but not fix the overall situation. Everything in the building is aging: the walls, lockers, ceiling tiles, walkways – everything.
“You could give us double the amount and after fixing the building it would still look like nothing was done,” Kent said.
A feasibility study is being planned for this summer and fall to see what it will take—if it’s worth fixing—to fix and improve the recreation center in the long run.
The UMC was approved a budget of $3,448,710 plus a bond of $1,988,128. The first enhancement sought to create a student information desk in the UMC to aid the front desk in helping people quicker.
This was originally proposed due to the long lines generating during peak hours in the UMC. Senor political science major and UCSU Tri-executive Dustin Farivar has observed such crowds in the UMC and how they are not dealt with speedily.
“I’ve seen long lines during peak hours and there are only two staff members to deal with everyone,” Farivar said.
The $6,566 enhancement was stricken from the budget due to the weak economy. Since many other businesses nationwide and worldwide are downsizing and still remaining efficient, UCSU said they felt that CU should follow the trend because it is economically sound and efficient.
Program council budget of $171,844 was approved which included a request of $25,942 for increased security, plus an additional $5,465 for operating expenses—both enhancements were approved.
The second reading of the budget for Wardenburg Health Center is considered one big bill. The approved bill totals $3,541,069, which includes enhances and net revenue. There was no discussion on the topic and Legislative Council President and senior international affairs major Blaine Pellicore explained why.
“The lack of discussion here shows how in depth we’ve talked about the topic and very few concerns or questions came up about the budget,” Pellicore said.
UCSU has finalized the budget for the remainder of the cost centers. Totaling to $19,667,769 in student fees, the total increase per student will equate to approximately $4.05.
The most controversial budgets were for the UCSU Proper and Student Group Financial Board cost centers.
SGFB was approved for a $277,700 increase. This increase is unique in that it is funded exclusively through expired referenda. Expired referenda are the result of the decisions made regarding fees from prior years. There will be no increase in student fees for the SGFB.
The controversy was rooted in whether or not to allocate the entire expired referenda to the SGFB cost center alone.
“We see some of the best leaders on this campus in student groups,” said Daniel Ramos, UCSU Chief of Staff and senior sociology major. “Students are there for leadership opportunities and community building.”
The work of student groups in registering an overwhelming amount of voters on campus is an example provided by UCSU Vice President and junior political science major Daniel Omasta of the importance of this funding.
His suggestion of prioritizing funding for groups was immediately shot down by Ramos, who said prioritizing funding would be putting a precedent on one group over another, and a violation of UCSU’s doctrine.
“We should not be telling student groups that they should not exist on campus because we cannot prioritize their issues,” Ramos said.
The final budget for UCSU Proper was passed at $608,763.18, according to Ryan Biehle, a Tri-executive and senior political science major.
This budget was controversial because executive staff payroll was a portion of the accounts served by UCSU Proper.
“There are no salary increases,” Biehle said. “We are not raising our pay.”
UCSU Proper funds representative council, the council of colleges and schools and provides student group funding for events and travel. It also pays for legislative council, executive staff, appellate court, UCSU’s professional office manager, homecoming, operations for the executive staff and funds a small public relations budget, according to Biehle.
The funding increase primarily allows UCSU to maintain a 15-person staff.
They are currently working with a 16-person staff, though the budget had been set for a 12-person staff, according to Dustin Farivar, Tri-executive and senior political science major.
The Environmental Center budget passed at $934,005. $777,205 of the E-Center’s budget will come from student fees, the remainder $156,800 from Sustainable CU Referenda.
“[The $156,800 means] there will be no net increase in student fees,” said Marianne Moulton Martin, the associate director of the E-Center.
The E-Center’s will use this money to invest in more eco-friendly office equipment, to cover half of the travel requested for the Association of Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference and to implement a trial year of Residence Hall Eco-Leaders.
$5,796 will specially fund the Residence Hall Eco-Leaders program, though the money will be funded through the Supplemental Operational Reserve accounts. SOR is left over money from previous budget cycles that can be used during the current budget cycle to fund various proposals.
The Association of Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference provides Universities from across the nation and Canada with ideas and workshops on how to encourage sustainability on their campuses.
One of the ideas the E-Center was most excited about was that of a university farm, said Stuart Gillespie, E-Board co-chair.
“How to implement sustainable farming practices on campus, providing dining halls with organic fruits and vegetables,” Gillespie said.
Extra crops from the potential University farm would be donated to the community.
The Volunteer Resource Center was approved for a $133,024 budget coming entirely from student fees. $6,320 is for student hourly salary increases. $2,118 is for the creation of a database partnership with the Volunteer Connection. $1,132 is for the movement of one General Personal I to the position of GPII.
“Human Resources talks about it as a GPI/GPII,” said Anna Domenico, director of the VRC. “There’s an understanding that after you have one year of GPI experience, you become a GPII employee.”
The Distinguished Speakers Board requested a $10,000 enhancement to their current budget of $120,862.
“We’re able to have a full, packed-out event in Mackey, we’re able to have a full packed-out event in the Coors Events Center with that $10,000,” Farivar said.
Despite Farivar’s encouragement, the enhancement was not approved by the board, making $120,892 the final budget for the DSB.
The remainder cost centers’ budgets were passed with minimal or no debate.
The Cultural Events Board will be funded through $445,786 in student fees. The $45,786 includes a $6,000 student fee increase to cover an increase in security costs and a $15,000 student fee increase to funding for food for student groups.
The KCVU (Radio 1190) cost center was approved for $151,609 in student fees for the continued operation of the radio station. $10,000 will be funded through the SOR account for capital improvements to the station. The KCVU cost center did not request any increase in student fees for their operations.
The Student Outreach and Retention Center for Equity was approved for $205,805 through student fees. A $4,000 increase in student fees was approved for SORCE to fund a student outreach program at the Valley School District Youth Conference.
The Women’s Resource Center did not request any increase in student fees, though will be funded through $267,780 in current student fees for its continued operation. $3,969 through SOR accounts was approved for the WRC’s Women’s Handbook.
A budget of $258,121 was approved for Legal Services. The cost center did not request any increase in student fees for their continued operation, though $1,000 in SOR accounts will be provided for improvements to the Student Legal Services Web site.
Off Campus Student Services was approved for the continued funding of $287,097 through student fees and for a $11,205 increase in student fees for the movement of two GPI positions to the level of GPII.
An hour before the meeting, an additional $2 for food service renovation was suggested to be added on to next semesters’ student fees, but was voted down for being a part of this budget because it had not gone through the necessary channels first.
“I’m not sure we have the jurisdiction to add any specific line items off any cost center,” Pellicore said.
The potential UMC food service renovation fee was taken away from the budgeting process as of now and will be looked over in further detail with UMC Director Carlos Garcia next week.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writers Adrian Kun at Adrian.Kun@colorado.edu and Sara Kassabian at email@example.com