Associated Students approved a recommendation from the External Affairs Committee regarding the transparency of how cash donations and gifts are processed at CSUN.
The recommendation came to the External Affairs Committee from a legislative referral. A few months ago, CSUN was accused of misconduct on how the donations were being spent, along with using thousands of dollars’ worth of donation funds for expensive parties and the remodeling and designing of President Dianne Harrison’s on-campus house; this information was released in an investigative report by CBS.
“Last semester students had questions and were unaware of how donations were being processed, said Senator Sevag Alexanian, the AS vice president-elect. “So this is why we wanted to address it.”
AS Vice President Talar Alexanian said AS decided to make this motion in order to inform students on how the donation process occurs and to clear up any confusions and allegations students may have.
Rob Gunsalus, vice president of University Advancement, explained to AS senators on how the donation process works at CSUN. He cleared up allegations of the unethical ways CSUN allegedly used the funds. Gunsalus said gifts are typically used to set up funds for scholarships, faculty support and technological upgrades. The majority of the donors are alumni, students and parents. This past year 4,000 seniors made a gift to the school, Gunsalus said. The previous year, around 300 students contributed a gift. The David Nazarian School of Business and Economics has received one of the largest donations of $10 million last spring.
“Even ten years from now, those donations will still be used by the campus,” said Gunsalus.
The University Advancement office was available to comment on the precise numbers and step-by-step process of how the funds get put into place and what is prioritized.
“People have their misconceptions,” said Alexanian. “They need to analyze and do research so they can see its benefits.”
Smaller gifts are unrestricted, Gunsalus said. They go into the President’s Fund which is allowed to be used in any form for the entire campus. Larger gifts tend to go to a specific college within the university. If a gift is made to a specific university, the donor has the ability to use it towards any means possible such as in setting up a scholarship fund or utilizing it towards building or technology renovations.
“We don’t get enough funding from the state so donations help a lot”, stated Alexanian.
April 20 Meeting Highlights:
Associated Students made a motion to suspend the approval of the 2015-2016 Annual Budget and Languages submitted until the next week’s meeting.
AS allocated $3,100 to AS Productions from Capital Improvement for the repurchase of an inflatable screen and AV equipment.
AS made a motion to transfer $6,000 from Licenses to Student Employee Account for AS Support-IT.
AS transferred $1,200 from the Black Student Union’s event of Black History Month to the Black Student Union Banquet.
AS approved the constitution of the Family and Consumer Sciences Student Association.
CSUN students can enter a competition to design a new spirit shirt for upcoming freshmen.