Student organization leaders read, explain 3 budgets at SIFC hearing Thursday night.
The Student & Incidental Fees Committee listened to and tentatively approved three student fee-funded budgets for the 2015 fiscal year.
Representatives from the Associated Students of Oregon State University, Human Services Resource Center and intercollegiate athletics presented their proposed budgets before an SIFC hearing board of seven on Thursday evening.
The ASOSU budget introduced the most changes, both in the amount of fees requested and the altered allotment of current funds.
Administrative and SafeRide costs contributed more than 90 percent of the requested budget increase, which totaled to an amount of more than $88,000. Conner Boyd, ASOSU executive director of finance, said the organization tried to simplify and better consolidate funds this year.
Boyd said the entirety of the administrative costs were due to a mandatory increase in professional staff salary. In order to help compensate for the added costs, the ASOSU budgeting team decreased the amount allotted for public relations and task forces.
Poor budgeting and planning last year majorly contributed to the increase in requested funds for SafeRide. According to Boyd and ASOSU student advocate Drew Desilet, budgeters last year failed to include the salaries of extra workers needed to drive an additional vehicle. That mistake is being compensated for in the 2014-15 budget.
In addition, SafeRide requested a fourth vehicle in order to reduce wait times and pick up more students during high-traffic nights. ASOSU executive director of community programs Allie Bircher provided the SIFC with detailed numbers and accounts showing the need for SafeRide expansion.
The SIFC tentatively approved the budget with six members in favor of the proposal. Member Victoria Redman abstained due to her position as the ASOSU vice president. The budget will cost students $20.48 per fall, winter and spring terms.
The HSRC budget saw a 0.78 percent increase, which was mostly reflective of the mandatory increase in salaries for professional staff. According to their PowerPoint presentation, the organization redistributes 74 percent of its budget directly back to the student body via subsidies and salaries.
The HSRC presented several new programs to be implemented in the next year, such as the establishment of an AmeriCorps VISTA program and the establishment of a graduate assistant position to supervise and support student staff. These positions would be funded from outside sources or current funds already within the organization.
Although the HSRC budget may eventually split from the ASOSU budget, it is currently still attached and therefore tentatively passed when ASOSU’s budget earned approval.
The athletics budget saw an overall decrease in requested funds as it plans on providing the same amount of tickets to students at the current price. The projected increase in student enrollment next year will slightly alleviate some of the individual burden placed on each student.
Six thousand student tickets are available for each football game, while students have 2,500 tickets open for basketball games. The price of tickets is locked for three years, after which the department reanalyzes and evaluates ticket methods and allocations.
Discussions surrounding a possible online ticketing system and the ADA compliancy of athletic facilities will continue until the current three-year period is up and a final decision must be made. The SIFC has repeatedly declined an online ticketing system due to glitches in other schools’ systems and the tradition surrounding the wait for tickets.
The athletics budget was unanimously approved and will cost each student $34.64 per term next school year.
Both sets of budgets will be officially approved at the SIFC open budget hearing Feb. 13.
From there, they will be presented before the ASOSU Congress and then finally OSU President Ed Ray.
Student government reporter