Student leaders debate stipends, Patagonias
May 18, 2017
Associated Student Government Senators put in their two cents’ worth on the budget recommendations given by the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) at their May 11 meeting.
The nine on-campus chartered student organizations (CSOs) collectively requested $595,422 in funding for the upcoming school year. This is $20,000 more than the school has to offer for CSOs per year, and $42,000 more than is distributed currently. A big factor in the request increase this year were 17 new stipend requests totaling $9,080.
SAFC representatives took the CSOs’ requests into consideration and provided recommendations for each club, which they presented to senators. After hearing the budget proposals, ASG members deliberated and raised issues that they had with the allocations for each club.
Into the Wild (ITW) requested eight new stipend positions, almost half of the 17 new stipend positions requested from all of the clubs combined. Many senators had concerns with the types of jobs that ITW asked to receive stipends for, such as Nutrition Manager and Diversity Manager. The question of what those jobs actually entail, and whether or not they are necessary, was raised.
ITW President and senior Matt Pieson explained to ASG senators that the Nutrition Manager will be in charge of managing all of the food for each trip.
He clarified that the organizers of ITW excursions are currently responsible for doing the food shopping each week. Pierson said that trip leaders already have so many responsibilities that they cannot devote the proper time to getting food. ITW officers believe it is imperative that a paid position be dedicated to getting healthy food for trip participants.
Another budget issue raised was the amount of money CSOs can allocate to members for personal apparel. In light of various CSOs’ recent Patagonia purchases, the SAFC felt it necessary to put an $80 per person cap on apparel purchases.
ASG members recognized the need for a limit on personal spending within CSOs.
“I think that as a whole, ASG can reduce its personal apparel spending from $80 to even $70 per person, and we can put the extra money to the RSO budget,” sophomore senator Austin Gray said.
The SAFC will take the ASG budget suggestions into consideration over the next week. Once adjustments have been made, the SAFC representatives will present their final proposal to ASG at the Week 7 meeting. ASG members will then vote to approve the budget.
ASG Senate will meet again on May 18 at 7 p.m.
Contact Kimi Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.