On Tuesday, Associated Students (A.S.) senate approved to keep spending $35,000 on funding for the California State Student Association (CSSA) membership dues, that every student on campus belongs to, instead of transferring those funds to student clubs and organizations on campus.
This decision was made during the consideration of amendments to the 2009-2010 Annual Budget.
‘CSSA benefits CSUN students because you have several students who lobby on behalf of students. Either you’re in or you’re out, you pay your dues and participate or you don’t and don’t represent your campus,’ said Vice President Nicole Umali who has participated with CSSA.’
The cost of $35,000 is spent on’ .90 cents per headcount of every student enrolled in that university. Only universities that chose to have voting privileges with CSSA pay those dues, all other universities who do not pay are members but do not have voting privileges.
Out of the 23 California State University (CSU) campuses only nine are paying members. Senator John Barry Neilan III asked the golden question, ‘What benefits do we get from being part of CSSA? Do we do a better job by giving the money to the clubs directly or do we stay in CSSA?’
A.S. President Miguel Segura replied by stating CSSA directly benefits students because it was at the forefront on implementing book rentals for students as well as advocating for students in the CSU system.
‘CSSA benefits students because it allows students to lobby on behalf of students and you are able to network with other campuses,’ said Umali.
Before the decision was made many of the senators were split but ultimately Umali and Segura along with other senators were able to lobby their side.
‘For the next administration we have to make sure that CSSA is running properly on campus,’ said Michael Ryan the general manager of A.S.
Another amendment made to the Annual Budget was also implemented by Sen. Lansdale was transferring $15,000 from the Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) account to scholarships for students.
The theory behind transferring money out of certain accounts was made in order to increase money available for students clubs, organizations, and students.
‘We have to keep on funding students because they demand will keep on growing next semester,’ said 2009-2010 President-elect Sen. Abel Pacheco.
The next item on the budget amendments was cutting the Big Show budget down by $15,000, this proposition was made by 2009-2010 Vice President-elect Senator Conor Landsdale, after he continued to call the Student Production And Campus Entertainment (S.P.A.C.E) committee ‘irresponsible’ for having put A.S. in the red almost $40k for the Big Show 8 that featured Ludacris.
Many supporters of S.P.A.C.E. attended the open forum to speak to persuade the senators not to cut from the Big Show budget that is currently at $115,000. ‘ ‘ ‘
‘When I transferred to CSUN I noticed that this campus had no school spirit, then I attended the Big Show when Neo was headlining and that was when I wanted to get involved,’ said Melissa Romero a senior business marketing major who is now involved in S.P.A.C.E.
There were other similar supporters of S.P.A.C.E. who argued that by cutting from the Big Show it would take away from student attendance which has been rising since this event begun making it one of the most popular events hosted by A.S.
At one point during the amendment deliberation, Sen. Lansdale called S.P.A.C.E. Executive Director Audrey Younna a ‘liar’ for alleging that Red Bull promised monetary sponsorship of the Big Show.
‘Senator Lansdale is right about Red Bull never promising a monetary commitment to the Big Show, and I never told anyone that they did so I don’t know what he means,’ said Younna. ‘However, it would have been a corporate sponsorship and that deal did fall through.’
Younna said she harbors no ill feelings towards anyone in A.S. and is focused on the bigger picture of the impact A.S. has on the student body, instead of focusing on personal issues.
‘I am committed to retaining integrity and making the Big Show a success and would be happy and willing to work with anyone to accomplish that,’ said Younna.
Younna said she was happy to see the S.P.A.C.E budget not cut by $15,000 and that many senators chose to focus on the facts and not on emotions. For next semester’ S.P.A.C.E. is required to be supervised by A.S. and be submit a proposal of their budget.
‘There are a lot of complexities to producing an event like the Big Show and I am just happy that senators chose to support our committee,’ said Younna. ‘I have always been an open book about the finances of the Big Show with everyone, I have nothing to hide and am committed to holding a successful Big Show.’
The next important decisions made by A.S. were the choice whether to fund certain sport clubs.
Out of six sports clubs inquiring to raise their annual budget only the CSUN Hockey Club received an increase of $1,800 and the CSUN Roller Hockey team of $2,000.
‘This is an award for their merit,’ said Sen. Ben Yarborough speaking about the CSUN Hockey Club who has participated in many competitions and performed well. During open forum there were several representatives from the CSUN Hockey team to spoke directly to the senators to explain their needs for more funding.
‘Some of the other clubs did not even come out here to tell us why they need more money,’ said Sen. Andrew Collard who was speaking about other sports clubs asking for more funding and who did not receive it.
‘I think A.S. is being inconsistent with their allocations and are not adequately recognizing the A.S. Sport Club Council,’ said Krystal Brooks, a sophomore history major. ‘They are just picking and choosing clubs.’
Finally concluding the A.S. meeting the senate approved the elections result before approving the complaints filed during the elections.
‘I don’t understand how you can approve the results before looking into the validity of the complaints filed during elections,’ was all Umali could say about the senate’s decision.