The ASUCD Senate table discussed the Association’s $11.7 million budget for the 2013-14 school year from May 17 to 19. The California Aggie reported on the three days of budget hearings. The remainder of budget hearings will be continued during the May 23 ASUCD Senate meeting in the Mee Room on the third floor of the M.U.
Meeting called to order at 6:28 p.m.
ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo) director Darin Schluep addressed the table about the changes the CoHo was undergoing. This included an increase in catering rates, a decrease in equipment purchases by 50 percent because of the CoHo renovation and an increase in labor payroll. He added that the CoHo will be seeing more hours and more student jobs.
“Sales are strong enough to where they do not need to raise prices on products,” Schluep said.
The table promptly closed the budget.
The $4.5 million proposed Unitrans budget was discussed next. Director Teri Sheets said that there aren’t many differences from last year’s budget. There are some changes being made to routes and night services have been extended. The unit is also working to help senior citizens use public transportation more often.
However, the unit is facing a deficit situation, and explained that they are three to four years early in requesting student fees. This, they said, was partly due to 2009 bus purchases and terminal remodels.
The budget was closed.
Next, the budget for STS Tipsy Taxi was seen.
“We’re projecting slightly lower income this year … We sort of set a high target [before] and I think this is slightly more realistic,” said ASUCD Controller Eric Evans.
They discussed increased expenses, as they are considering adding GPS on the buses. ASUCD President Carly Sandstrom said she appreciated that the unit saw an increase in income and a decrease in subsidy.
The table considered a compromise that would reduce the publicity budget from $1,000 to $750. A number of senators wanted the figure to decrease further, while the management team were friendly to a larger publicity allowance.
The budget was closed with only slight adjustments.
Bike Barn unit directors explained that they were able to consolidate certain line items in the budget and lower expenditures while hiring more people. The budget was promptly closed without many changes to the proposed budget.
The Aggie Reuse budget was seen next. The unit plans to add three positions, including a summer store manager and two store managers to extend hours during the school year, as it is only open three hours a day currently. Thomas motioned to increase employee pay slightly. The motion failed.
The table passed a motion to increase the publicity line item to $250. The budget closed.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:16 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 10:12 a.m.
The Creative Media budget was opened first. Director Alex Park stated that they have a larger need for expenses, but they also are experiencing an increase in income. Because they are creating new website designs, they have developed a way to “brand” the Association and increase reach across campus. Their publicity line item was increased to $1,550 and they have began to charge more for recharge services for other ASUCD units.
The Memorial Union Post Office budget was opened next. Unit directors said they are seeing a decrease in income and expenses because they are no longer selling stamps to the Bookstore. They are also no longer receiving flat operating fees and are having trouble predicting sales based on a new contract. The unit is also increasing stipends and salaries because the work period has increased.
Senators then moved on to the Picnic Day budget. The unit is spending more money in equipment purchases, and they are planning the Centennial Picnic Day. They are not marketing much because they do not want to draw an overabundance of people to the event. Senators voted to drop the advertising budget from $4,000 to $3,000.
The budget was closed without much change.
The Project Compost budget was then opened. The unit is seeing lower expenses and does not have a predictable way to forecast income. Unit Director Haley Proehl said they are doing well this year and are operating out of the Student Farm.
The Lobby Corps budget was opened and closed promptly, without changes.
The Whole Earth Festival budget was visited next.
“We’re building our fiscal sustainability for the future for a sustainable event,” Evans said.
This budget saw many small changes including a $200 decrease for equipment purchases, an increase in equipment rental from $960 to $1,000, a $400 decrease in the art line item and decreases in the compost and recycling, staff development, dish collection, food, transportation, publicity and parking line items. The hydration line item and replacement reserves saw increases as well. The budget closed with additional supplemental descriptions to the budget.
The Campus Center for the Environment saw a decrease in the staff development line item and an increase in programming. The campus club and event coordinator pay was decreased to $35 a week as well.
The Cal Aggie Camp budget was opened next. The directors of Cal Aggie Camp felt that they were operating on a “skeleton budget,” while some senators felt that they were receiving more money than they need to operate. In the end, the budget was altered in the storage and T-shirts line-items. The storage fee saw a large decrease to $75 from $828 and T-shirts were reduced from $2,500 to $1,525.
“We need a critical dissection of these budgets because everyone is struggling right now,” Sagala said.
The Pantry budget followed. During discussion of the budget, Unit Director Quincy Kayton said they wanted to increase publicity and awareness of The Pantry. She also discussed the amount for computer equipment, reduced from $420 to $180.
The Aggie Threads budget was then opened. Director Dan Caldwell discussed how the printer has not been functioning properly, and for that reason, they did not meet their projected revenue. The budget closed.
Vice President Bradley Bottom’s budget was then seen. Bottoms said he had to make small cuts with a tight budget. It closed quickly. Sandstrom pointed out that she had been using some of the vice president’s budget, as her budget was used up by the previous ASUCD president.
The Entertainment Council budget was opened next. The table discussed making The Buzz, a campuswide fall welcome event, directed not just to first-year students. The unit said they are seeing higher maintenance costs and will attempt to bring more midsize shows, with new types of artists that would attract a variety of students.
The City and County Affairs budget was then seen. Sandstrom wanted the table to motion to change the name to City and Community Relations to make it more attractive to prospective applicants. The table discussed first-year voter registration and the unit’s role in it. They said they can reach out to first-year students in Cuarto, as they are able to vote in city elections, unlike residents of other residence halls.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
Meeting was called to order at 10:17 a.m.
Senate started the day with the AggieTV budget.
“I’m really happy to see a decrease in subsidy but an increase in operation,” Sagala said.
The table discussed how increasing the income would make the unit more commercialized. Sagala said that she believed the unit is an outlet for students to be creative and should not be viewed as one chiefly for generating income.
The Campus Copies/Classical Notes budget was then seen. The unit has received more printers and a new website by Creative Media. Unit Director Jessica Fitzhugh said she is looking to bring more readers on campus and buy better printers to remain competitive. The table discussed raising income, but Fitzhugh said she would rather maintain the same income goal at $84,300.
The table motioned to open the KDVS budget. Unit Director Renner Burkle said the unit is in a transition period, as they are switching from their old tower to a newer one. The unit has to pay for both towers during the transition, but anticipates making more money once the unit expands. Burkle said they would be lowering their income line item, as they do not make as much as projected during fundraisers. He also said a lot of equipment is breaking and that they have had to replace it.
After Senate closed the budget, Business and Finance Commission chair Rylan Schaeffer said the Senate shouldn’t have given KDVS a subsidy increase when the unit already spent over $30,000 for the new tower and hasn’t seen a change in revenue.
Senate moved on to the Refrigerator Services (RS) budget. Unit Director Eddie Truong said that while the budget implements stipend positions, he would rather pay the employees hourly due to the difference in working hours each quarter.
Evans and other members of the table said the stipend model makes more sense and that that’s what most other ASUCD units do.
“Going to stipend puts more accountability on expense,” Evans said.
Truong said this pay does not motivate students to work.
“Historically, this unit is always being punished. We make a lot of money for this association so I don’t understand why we are giving deference to individuals who don’t know what they’re talking about,” Truong said.
After a break to open other budgets, the table passed a motion for hourly pay, in an 8-1-3 vote, changing pay to $8 per hour for 20 weeks, resulting in a total of $800.
The California Aggie budget was opened. Evans said that the budget is going to be a realistic evaluation of the financial status of the paper.
Because this is a Campus Media Board unit, the table could either accept or reject the whole budget, but no changes could be made to it without media board approval.
“We are lowering our expenses in salaries. They’ve taken large cuts to make those changes happen… We are planning for a problem,” Evans said.
Janelle Bitker, unit director and editor in chief of the California Aggie, said that printing costs are estimated to decrease from $80,000 to $35,000 by printing only once a week. The unit is anticipating a deficit of roughly $17,000.
The Experimental College budget was opened. The unit lowered their income and expense projections. They are also looking to develop a cohesive marketing strategy. They passed the budget with ease at $55,000 in income.
The ASUCD President’s budget was seen next. Senator Maxwell Kappes said he is appreciative of the cuts Sandstrom made, and he liked the idea of more collaboration between branches because that would lead to more accountability.
The only change in this budget was an increase in equipment purchases from $407 to $820 and a reduction in the Chief of Staff pay by $10.
Internal Affairs Commission budget was then opened. The unit saw small increases in certain line items.
The Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission budget followed and saw a decrease from $2,500 to $1,800. The Presidents budget decreased all commissions’ budgets, as they previously gave money to ethnic graduations and opted to preemptively move those funds.
Aaron Hsu, Elections Committee chair, said he wants to hire more interns. The table said he should try to divide work between current employees and volunteers.
The Environmental Policy and Planning Commission saw an $800 cut last year, but they said they cannot cut anymore. Not many changes were made to the budget,
The Gender and Sexuality Commission proposed a $190 cut to the unit. They said that the majority of their budget would be used for scholarships and events. They said that the amount of money corresponds to the amount of money being used for their work, and it would be hard to accept any more budget cuts. Senators motioned to cut dollars from various line items in small amounts.
The table discussed adding a surplus to next year’s Educational Opportunity Program grants. They work with a rate of $2 per students at 25,260 student per quarter.
The table reopened the Elections Committee budget, and opted to close the budget at $3,500 after discussing the importance of getting students out to vote.
The ASUCD Controller’s budget was then opened. The table lowered the pay in a 9-3-0 vote, but immediately voted to raise pay back to its original amount after some senators suggested it was a bad idea.
Thomas, who called for pay cuts throughout budget hearings, pointed out that it was necessary to consider all parts of the budget, even if it meant decreasing pay.
“Budget hearings is not a personal thing, it’s to get the numbers right so we can make it a better association for the students,” Thomas said.
Meeting adjourned at 11:30 p.m.