Last night for fee committee hearings
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 01:02
The Student Incidental Fee Committee passed all budgets Tuesday night during its final open hearing.
The open hearing allowed organizations to speak about their proposed budgets, make any last minute statements or have members of the public show support and testify.
The extended meeting went through 15 budgets. While there were a few discussions held and momentary recesses to gather further information, most of the committee members were satisfied with first round of presentations and had nothing else to add.
The three major organizations discussed were Diversity Development, Our Little Village and ASOSU, who presented supporters from the public and discussion over readjustments of funding by the committee members.
Our Little Village, who asked for an increase of 15 cents per student, stressed the uniqueness of their services and the importance of a slight increase to maintain their current service level.
Joshua Sexton, a junior at OSU and a father, shared his support for the campus program. Sexton spent $7,000 dollars on childcare last year as a student. He said the increase in funding is minimal, at a total of funding of $4.38 while athletics is receiving funding upwards of $40.
Other parents testified in front of the committee showing their support for Our Little Village and gave their stories; everything from an increase by $400 in childcare just by moving to Corvallis, to a decrease in stress which not only helps the OSU community, but the personal lives of student parents.
“The changes made are great,” committee member and ASOSU Senator Tyler Hogan said. “[There is] a small increase but you are still doing the same things.”
ASOSU’S budget was the next gaining lots of attention. Many have been made as co-chairman of the ways and means committee, Matthew Palm, joked about this being the 30th one created.
No major problems were seen between proposed funding and past expenditures. However, a recess was held to figure the discrepancy in $17,000 of extra funding that would be there at the end of the year. ASOSU proposed increases to Safe Ride funding, Human Services Resource Center funding and travel budgets for legislative related work including conventions on the East Coast.
After meeting for about 10 minutes in recess, the SIFC decided to drop the initial tentative funding of $19.15 — already down from the previous year of $20.42 — to $18.87 per student per term. This funding will be for fall, winter and spring terms. Summer term saw a drop in funding as well from $12.50 to $6.72 but upon questioning members, ASOSU said it was for the lack of services offered over summer compared to fall, winter and spring.
Diversity Development also had their showing. The main discussion was over the new Native American Longhouse’s need for a full time professional employee who can act as a mentor and relieve the stress that students are feeling on a daily basis by being overextended by their work.
During public testimony another nine speakers spoke in support of the proposal, and asked those in the room who are also in support of the hiring of a full time employee. The majority of the room, 15-20 students and faculty, stood up in support.
“That’s really cool to see.” said SIFC chairman Brad Alvarez. “You don’t see so many students come out in support of a budget … it puts a face to the words and numbers.”
The motion was placed by committee member Madison Parker for the full $14.30 for fall, winter and spring up from the tentative $12.82. A budget note for further conversations regarding an increase of $18,000 in other expenses was made with possible reallocation to the other cultural centers on campus. This decision passed unanimously.
This is not the last step for the proposed SIFC budget. These recommendations will now move to the joint session of the House and Senate next Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Memorial Union lounge where they will be presented and approved or disapproved by ASOSU.
After that they will move onto President Ed Ray who has final authority in the matter. According to Alvarez, Ray has never rejected a proposal by SIFC.
Ricky Zipp, news reporter