A.S. online budget request simplifies submission process

The process of requesting annual funding went green as the A.S. 2011-2012 Annual Budget Request became available online, replacing the original paper-based submissions with fields, a dropdown menu, and electronic confirmations.

“We are trying to go green with A.S.,” said Kevin Mojaradi, A.S. coordinator of marketing and public relations. “We are cutting back on the number of forms we need because in the past we made 19 copies of everything to give to senators and advisors, and with more than 150 clubs, it adds up.”

Freshman Kevin Sanchez, animation major and a member of Beta Gamma Nu, said he thinks having the budget request online is more efficient.

“I feel it would help the environment in saving paper rather than going through the hassle of paperwork,” said Sanchez, 18.

Mojaradi said the online application was created to give clubs, organizations and A.S. an easier way to handle budget requests.

“Students needed to get three signatures,” Mojaradi added. “One from the club, one from the advisor keeping track of what the club was requesting and one from a Senate representative who advocates during Senate meetings on behalf of the club.

“(For students) to get all three signatures was a hassle because they had to go to a lot of different places on campus.”

Vahan Khodanian, A.S. director of finance, said that with the original process, clubs and organizations had to download an Excel sheet, complete the paperwork, and upload and e-mail it back to the finance director. He said another sheet of paper had to be used for the required signatures.

The online form will reduce the amount of time it takes for an organization to submit its information, making it easier for all parties involved, Khodanian said.

With a one-page online application, students can input their clubs or organizations’ membership information, budget details for future events or programs, and also choose a Senate representative in one submission, Mojaradi said.

“This year students are telling us who they want rather than us giving them somebody (a Senate representative) who is available,” he said.

Mojaradi added that once students submit their requests, they will get to a screen that has a confirmation page and their advisor will get a response requesting their reply to confirm they agree with and approve the budget.

The annual budget is a pot of money set aside for clubs and organizations to establish the general A.S. budget for the June to July fiscal year, Khodanian said.

Mojaradi added the finance committee, including Khodanian, was involved with the decision making and brought the idea to him.

“This is one of the biggest leaps we have taken,” Mojaradi said.

He added that clubs and organizations have until Nov. 15 to submit their requests. They will cancel the link after the deadline, limiting access to the form.

For special situations, it would have to be up to the finance committee, he said.

There was no additional cost in creating the online application because the finance committee used its existing account with WUFOO, an HTML form builder, to create the form, Mojaradi said. The $9-per-month terms of service comes from their marketing budget.

Mojaradi said he did some of the coding himself and it took about a week to create and test the form.

He added he would create test budgets to ensure the application worked properly.

Khodanian said two submissions have been received so far and he thinks the transition will be successful.

“I’m 100 percent confident that it will be a success, but we won’t be able to determine that until the end of the process,” he said.