New Year, New Budget: ASCC Releases Latest Services & Activities Proposal

The ASCC finalized their $1,779,599 Services and Activities budget proposal for 2017-2018 on May 3. The budget, up $42,666 from last year, awaits confirmation from the Board of Trustees on June 24.

ASCC Finance Director Bill Skates said S&A fees are used to help students succeed; the funds cover necessities like equipment, materials, travel expenses and support for events.

Last year’s budget of $1,736,933 caused program directors to take cuts to compensate.
Elizabeth Donley, co-director for the Phoenix, said the cuts forced the Phoenix to take a step down in size. “We couldn’t accept as many student works, because the book is smaller, fewer pages,” Donley said.

“We’ve had to print a smaller book. We’ve had to print fewer copies this year,” Donley said. “[This is] the smallest book we’ve ever had since I’ve been working on this.”

This year, the Phoenix requested an increase of around $1,500 for printing, and the ASCC granted it.

Because of that extra money, Donley expects to be able to accept more student submissions. The Phoenix’s unfinalized budget of $33,667 for 2017-2018 will allow more printing flexibility. Donley said she looks forward to a larger print edition next year, similar to last year’s 144 pages.

The Clark Band programs took some of the largest cuts last year, with a loss of $21,000, according to director Richard Inouye. Last year, Inouye said that he was concerned about what the loss meant for traveling to musical competitions and concerts, but according to Inouye, the year went better than expected due to the reliability of one-time funding.

“This year we had asked for a one-time funding to go on a trip, and ASCC granted it to us,” Inouye said. “I’ve never been denied one-time funding from ASCC. I think it may be a smarter way that they’re doing it, as long as they continue to support the one-time funding requests.”  Inouye said that the ASCC’s use of one-time funds was a good way to curb overspending and underspending.

With a $5,100 increase for travel needs next year, the programs Inouye directs have received a pre-finalized budget of $31,100.

While Inouye praised the availability of one-time funding, Skates said that the process was supposed to be used as a sort of safety net, or plan B.

“One time funding requests aren’t meant to be supplementing a budget,” Skates said.  “They’re meant for funds that come up that were not expected, which is why they weren’t put in your previous year’s budget and are not expected to repeat.”

Skates explained that a lot of the 2016-2017 cuts were from travel, because of the need to cut the budget down. Next year, those portions that relied on one-time funding are being included in the original proposals.

“We’re trying to keep that included to try to limit the amount of one-time funds,” Skates said. “But also try to make sure the programs have enough money to fulfill what they want to do in order to serve the students.”

The programs with the greatest proposed increases include Aerospace, with an increase of $19,116, the women’s athletic team with a raise of $14,490 and Student Life, with a raise of $14,477.

Other programs with unfinal increases of $10,000 or more include the Athletic Administration, Student Enrichment, Vocal Music, Outdoor and Recreation, Child and Family studies, Model United Nations and Phi Theta Kappa.

The program with the greatest pending cut is N.E.R.D. Girls, which lost $5,064. N.E.R.D. Girls’ budget proposal is $15,282 this year, compared to last year’s $20,346.

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