Fee committee provisionally allots money to Memorial Union
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 16:02
Relocating the bookstore, constructing the new Student Experience Center to replace Snell Hall and revamping OSU Student Media all linger on the Memorial Union’s to-do list.
On Saturday, the Student and Incidental Fees Committee heard and tentatively passed its budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
Elected students make up the committee, which guides the budgeting process for student fees. The group sets fee levels for services, including ASOSU, Recreational Sports and, in this case, the Memorial Union. Their recommendations then go through ASOSU Congress before reaching OSU President Ed Ray for approval.
The committee has already passed budgets for its own committee, Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center, Counseling and Psychological Services and Student Health Services.
At Saturday’s presentation, Memorial Union President Michael Fashana described two budgets for the board’s consideration. Michael Henthorne, Memorial Union director, fielded most of the questions after the presentation. The committee passed the second budget with two additional funding requests termed “decision packages.”
The first decision package requested $732,061 for the lost revenue from the bookstore. This funding would go into furnishings, fixtures and equipment to fill the Student Experience Center. Part of the remaining money would go to Student Media for new equipment. Fashana said much of Student Media’s equipment was donated in 1973.
“This is the equivalent of using analog technology to complete our media outlets,” Fashana said.
Without the passage of this package, the Student Experience Center would open as a nearly-empty facility.
“We don’t want an empty space in the [Student Experience Center], as architects will tell you about new buildings,” Fashana said.
The second package asked for an extension of the editorial content adviser position to provide guidance, training and feedback for student media programs. Without the package, the position would end this year. Costs include $49,440 salary and other payroll expenses of $32,104.
Fashana made a case for the Memorial Union’s fiscal responsibility, including its ability to lower student fees over the past six years. The Memorial Union receives 47 percent of its budget from student fees. The rest comes from revenue.
Brad Alvarez, committee chair, questioned the excess working capital, or difference in assets and liabilities, in the budget. Henthorne and Jennifer Creighton, finance accounting manager, assured him they would not have any excess capital by the end of the Student Experience Center construction period.
Before passing both decision packages, the committee used a recess to reconfigure the student fees proposed by the Memorial Union. The committee found the student fees in the budget were miscalculated.
After changing the proposed Memorial Union student fees, the committee tentatively passed the second budget with the decision packages. Fall, winter and spring fees with this budget amount to $73.18 per student per term, down from $73.63 before. The summer fee amount was raised to $69.86, up about $12. The board will make a final approval of this budget, and others they have entertained, during a final budget hearing on Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom.
The committee has delayed ASOSU, Educational Activities and music budgets. Educational Activities and music have not submitted their budgets and ASOSU revised another draft for resubmission. The deadline for budgets was Jan. 23.
Athletics will present at 7:30 p.m. today in the Memorial Union journey room. For a schedule of upcoming committee meetings, visit: oregonstate.edu/sifc/meetings. Videos of the meetings can be found on KBVR’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/KBVR26. The meetings are open to the public.
Jack Lammers, news editor
On Twitter @jacklammers