SIFC approves budgets, not without controversy - The Daily Barometer: News

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SIFC approves budgets, not without controversy

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Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:32 pm

Recreational sports, Student Diversity Budgeting Board proposals receive approval with changes at open hearing Thursday.

All 11 student organization budgets funded by student fees received approval from the Student & Incidental Fees Committee during Thursday evening’s open hearing, despite some minor changes and debate.

The largest controversy of the night surrounded recreational sports’ budget, which asked for the funneling of additional funds into their working capital. Despite seeing a decrease in funding requests from $66.08 per person last year to $64.86 this year, SIFC further reduced the recreational sports fee allotment to $64.53 per 2015 winter, spring and fall terms.

The additional working capital request stemmed from worries surrounding unplanned expenses and possible facility costs. Rec sports director Tom Kirch said funds have been tight in recent years and having extra cushion in the working capital would allow for better stewardship of resources.

SIFC denied the request on the grounds that any unplanned costs throughout the year may be funded through contingency fund requests. The contingency fund is an extra pool of student fee funds set aside by SIFC for emergency purposes.

Kirch and his student team presenters accepted the SIFC’s logic, but argued that future student fee committees may decide to allot contingency funds on different terms with different priorities.

The budget was approved after five votes in favor and two abstentions. 

The Student Diversity Budgeting Board’s proposal also saw debate over increased utility fees and required renovations. The budgeting board asked for an increase of $3.91 from the 2014 fiscal year, with more planned cultural center expansions and salary increases.

SIFC expressed concerns over the Student Diversity Budgeting Board’s failure to spend even half of its budget thus far into the 2014 fiscal year. As a result, the committee asked that $1 be taken from the requested per-student fee and replaced with money from the organization’s working capital.

This decision led to an approved per-student fee of $17.35 per winter, spring and fall terms of the 2015 fiscal year.

The remaining nine budgets were approved with little to no changes to the original proposal. The final approved numbers are as follows:

•Our Little Village: $7.07 fall/winter/spring of FY15

•Student Sustainability Initiative: $4.36 fall/winter/spring of FY15

•Associated Students of Oregon State University/Human Services Resource Center: $20.48 fall/winter/spring of FY15

•Athletics: $36.64 fall/winter/spring of FY15

•Music: $4.32 fall/winter/spring of FY15

•Student Health Services: $90.09 fall/winter/spring of FY15 

•Counseling and Psychological Services: $35.23 fall/winter/spring of FY15 

•Educational Activities: $0.46 for fall/winter/spring of FY15

•Memorial Union: $79.55 for fall/winter/spring of FY15 

Now that the budgets have been approved, they will move on to the ASOSU joint legislative session Tuesday evening. If ASOSU makes any suggestions, the budgets will move to a mediation committee until compromise is reached. Once the budgets are given final student approval, they will be sent to OSU President Ed Ray.

Tori Hittner

Higher education reporter

managing@dailybarometer.com

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