Implementing an agenda on campus doesn’t come cheap.
With lower-than-expected total student enrollment for this academic year — 38,125 students — to contribute to student government dues and about $50,000 less than expected from last semester’s carry-over, the Central Student Government budgeted $301,104 for the fall semester.
The new budget is approximately 12 percent less than what was available winter 2012.
Unlike previous semesters — where commissions were allocated funds individually along with the other budgeted expenses — the 25 executive commissions were not allocated funds for the fall.
As per the new commission structure implemented during the summer by CSG President Michael Proppe and Vice President Bobby Dishell, the commissions are responsible for compiling research-based reports until November. The reports include information on the funds required during the remainder of the year to drive initiatives.
In the meantime, if commissions require funds for their fall initiatives, they will draw from the $14,700 allocated to the commission discretionary fund.
During the meeting, Proppe said this structure solved the dual purpose of allowing a greater allocation to the Student Organization Funding Commission — the body primarily responsible for funding voluntary student organizations — and accommodating the reduced budget.
Despite the new commission structure, SOFC was allocated about 12 percent less than what they were given last semester. A portion of the debate surrounding the budget was dedicated to passing an amendment that mandated that a minimum of 5 percent of the SOFC budget be spent solely on graduate student organizations.
On the other hand, Proppe said it’s not necessary for the political insurance to be written into the budget, as graduate student organizations did not face discrimination when applying for funding through SOFC along with other undergraduate organizations.
“I don’t think it is a good idea to earmark a percent of the SOFC budget to graduate students,” Proppe said. He added that any representation issues could be addressed through the newly created Graduate Student Engagement commission.
Assembly representatives further debated the distribution of money between the executive and legislative discretionary funds. The budget proposed that the executive fund be allocated $2,000 more than the legislative fund; representatives, however, debated over this margin.
Despite the reduced total budget, the legislative fund was allocated $2,500 more than what was the previous semester and the executive fund would be given $4,500 more than last semester.
LSA senior Pratik Ghosh said he believed the assembly’s work warranted additional legislative funds.
“While the (greater legislative discretionary funding) is unprecedented, I think this assembly is unprecedented,” Ghosh said during the meeting. “We’re going to get a lot done.”
In addition, the committee unanimously approved a resolution that would suspend the assembly from its traditional responsibility of allocating a portion of the fall budget to the upcoming 2014 summer assembly.