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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Guest Opinion: ASUCD budget hearings

On Friday, ASUCD will begin the process of finalizing its budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. On its face, the budget is an enormous and esoteric book containing numbers which correspond to financial line items most of the student body has never heard of. But once the book closes and the budget is finalized, the fiscal effects reflected in your student government’s deliberations will begin to permeate noticeable aspects of campus life.
If you’re a member of a club, if you eat at the CoHo, if you have ever received a piece of Aggie Pack swag or attended a culture day, then you will notice the impacts these numbers have. Politics is a matter of priorities. There is no such thing as a completely fair or equitable budget; thus, when the Senate debates where to allocate scarce resources, it’s a reflection of our priorities as senators and where we think the student body wants to see their hard-earned fees allocated.
But senators are ignorant and, at times, completely disconnected from the tenor and feelings of the student body at large. Aristotle said that in the absence of perfect practical knowledge, the next best thing is to aggregate as many dissenting opinions as possible and attempt to get as asymptotically close to the truth as possible.

So I urge you, come, be that aggregate and tell your senators where you want your fees allocated, because those fees are yours.  ASUCD is bankrolled by the students and is in turn meant to serve them. Come to budget hearings, beginning on Friday at 5 p.m., on the third floor of the Memorial Union, and ensure your fees are being used properly, because government transparency only matters if there’s someone to stare through the glass.