Associated Students officials announced Oct. 31 that the unallocated reserves account will be getting a boost from the 2,560 students who were not accounted for in this year’s budget.
The 2005-2006 budget was based on a prediction of 32,000 students enrolling, but 34,560 students actually enrolled. That means there is excess money that will be distributed throughout A.S., including the unallocated reserves account, from which most student clubs and organizations are allocated money.
At last week’s meeting, Director of Finance Adam Haverstock announced that the unallocated reserves account was down from $112,962 at the beginning of the fall semester to $45,963, which does not include the allocated monies from Tuesday’s meeting. According to the list of balances kept by Haverstock, of the $66,999 that has been spent from the unallocated reserves account, only $20,530 has gone to student groups and organizations (as defined in the A.S. budget).
Out of the capitol and technological reserves account, which is maintained by student fees but is only to be used for equipment replacement and repairs by A.S., $132,848 has been spent. An allocation of $28,000 was made for new furniture for the A.S. central office. That one allocation is more than $7,000 more than this year’s allocations to student groups and organizations.
It was pointed out at the meeting that student groups and organizations have funds already allocated in the annual budget. As M.E.Ch.A. President Karina Ceja said in open forum, “We know we got $2,400 already, we don’t need to be told that. But we need more.”
The A.S. senators received encouragement and support for their decisions from General Manager David Crandall.
“You did approve $6,600 for polos for A.S. so students can see their A.S. representatives on campus, but that’s like 1/1000th of our budget,” Crandall said.
He also called the allocation for polos “a reasonably good decision.”
“I hope none of you should hide your tail between your legs,” Crandall said in reference to the recent comments from students during open forum.
He urged the students to remember that the $4,500 they allocated for new computers in the A.S. accounting and finance department came from a different account than money for cultural groups.
“You’re not funding computers instead of a cultural program,” Crandall said.
Crandall also said that to the best of his knowledge A.S. at CSUN funds student organizations more than other CSUs.
According to Jill Hanna, vice president of finance for A.S.I. CSU Fullerton, they allocate $376,932 in their annual budget to student clubs and organizations. CSUF has 40,000 students enrolled, the highest in the CSU system, and the A.S. student fee is only $59. Hanna said the allocated money is given to funded and funding groups, like the Association for Inter-Cultural Awareness and InterClub Councils for each of the eight colleges.
“That way groups apply directly to their InterClub Council instead of going through the finance committee and the Senate,” Hanna said.
CSUF’s InterClub Councils are made up of student representatives from student groups and organizations of their specific colleges.
A smaller college like CSU Bakersfield has 7,800 enrolled students and allocates $269,464 in the A.S. annual budget to student groups and organizations. CSUB A.S. fee is $77.
San Diego State University has slightly less students enrolled than CSUN, but their A.S. annual budget is $19.1 million. According to the A.S. Vice President of Finance, only 19 percent of that amount is from student fees; the rest comes from daily activities and corporate sponsors.
Crandall finished his speech to CSUN’s A.S. senators by reviewing the benefits of the proposed referendums.
However, Crandall added, “There are more students who will not directly benefit from the referendum.”
Following the open forum portion of the meeting, Salgado brought up the special action item of allocating $1,600 from the unallocated reserves to M.E.Ch.A. for Dia de Los Muertos. Without much discussion, the senators voted to allocate the proposed amount for the event.
During open forum, other students spoke on behalf of M.E.Ch.A.’s request.
“If we’re able to ensure Big Show, then to the people that make decisions on campus, we should also be able to set aside money for these cultural events. We know they’re coming,” said Kalic Chambers, BSU president. “It’s okay to spend money to shake our ass, but not to edify our minds?”
After the senate passed the motion to allocate money for Dia de Los Muertos, other students spoke up.
“Northridge has a big variety of ethnicities. We are the majority and I wonder what they’re doing with the budget,” said psychology major Ricardo Urrutia.