Fee committee hears Ed Act, music budgets
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 16:02
The Student and Incidental Fee Committee overrode both budgets presented Monday night from Educational Activities and the Oregon State University music department.
Drew Hatlen, Chairman of the Educational Activities Committee and Curt Black, adviser, looked to streamline costs and efficiency in their budget. Their proposal included no decision packages, instead calling for a decrease in student fees for Educational Activities from this year’s $692,582 to $592,032 for fiscal year 2014. The appropriation would amount to $100,650 decreasing fall, winter and spring student fees from $9.58 to $8.08 and maintaining summer fees at $8.50.
“We’re looking to fund student organizations in a creative way,” Hatlen said.
Much of their budget has been broken up for flexibility, allowing organizations under Educational Activities, including Student Media and OSU Theatre Arts, the ability to apportion their own funds by submitting fund requests as their needs arise.
“We dedicated dollar amounts to organizations so they can draw out of those pots,” Hatlen said.
Members from The Daily Barometer and Beaver Yearbook fielded questions from the student fee committee, which more particularly attacked discrepancies between items in their budgets and the actual amounts spent in those areas.
“Regularly the line item doesn’t match up with the expense,” said committee member Terra Setzler. “There hasn’t been consistency in what was budgeted and what was spent.”
Technology, equipment and travel funds received most of the attention, but Hatlen argued for their decisions behind the budgets.
“The actual money spent fluctuates year to year in areas like equipment for Student Media,” Hatlen said.
After a prolonged discussion, the committee reservedly decided to offer $9.58 for fall, winter and spring fees with a fee of $7.17 for summer. The budget tentatively passed unanimously with one abstention from Setzler.
“I am too tired and in no shape to vote,” Setzler said.
The decision to keep the student fee level surprised the presenters, who aimed to cut their student fee funding.
Next up, OSU music department representatives presented to the committee, requesting a student fee of $4.20 for fall, winter and spring terms. The representatives quickly put together their proposal, and many members took note of items in the budget that had not changed from last year. According to representatives, they experienced a lapse in record keeping and tracking expenditures.
“Just now we are finding out where these accounts were,” said Christopher Chapman, director of bands.
Other Music faculty voiced their concerns about their current system of tracking their budgets and presenting reports.
“We don’t have someone doing budgets in the music department and we don’t get budget reports anymore,” said Erin O’Shea Sneller, publicist and events coordinator.
“We’ve been asking for reports and I refer to the new system as a ‘disorganization,’” added Steven Zielke, director of choral studies.
After reviewing the budget and setting some guidelines, Brad Alvarez, chair, compared their proposal to others they have seen.
“It’s just not up to par and I don’t think it’s very acceptable,” Alvarez said.
The committee decided to tentatively lower the fee in light of the circumstances to $2.20 for fall, winter and spring terms.
Tomorrow the Student and Incidental Fee Committee will hold a final hearing for approval of the budgets they have heard thus far. The meeting will go from 5-9 p.m.
Video of the meetings can be found on KBVR’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/KBVR26.
Jack Lammers, news editor
On Twitter @jacklammers