SIFC, ASOSU mediate budgets
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 02:02
During last week’s joint session, the House of Representatives voted down two budget proposals from the Student Incidental Fees Committee: Diversity Development and Music Ensemble.
Because both bodies of the Associated Students of Oregon State University had to approve each proposal, the budgets were moved to mediation, which is made up of House, Senate and SIFC members.
Tuesday night the mediation committee met to discuss the main conflicts of both of these budgets.
For Music Ensemble, the conversation centered on its budget’s lack of detail.
Brad Alvarez, Student and Incidental Fees Committee chairman, said the budget was cut and pasted from last year and turned in late. While he was supportive of a proposal for the contingency fund, Alvarez and other committee members could not deny the problems with the proposal.
“They really need to get on top of this,” said committee member and Senator Tyler Hogan. “This process does mater and they need to take this process seriously.”
Speaker of the House Jacob Vandever was at the Musical Ensemble’s presentation and was able to attest to the minimal amount of information and the last-minute presentation of information.
“I don’t know what they could expect SIFC to do except lower their budget,” Vandever said.
The vote was taken and came through unanimously, upholding the original SIFC proposal at $2.20. However, the options of receiving funding through contingency funds are still open and look promising, Alvarez said.
Diversity Development has received a lot of attention from both the board, ASOSU and student support in the last few weeks with its budget. The main discussion is about the hiring of full-time staff positions.
Last week they stated the reasons for hiring are not just to help out current employees, but to provide opportunities for mentorship for students.
Diversity Development requested a fee increase for the hiring of two positions but the committee did not find sufficient evidence to justify the increase. According to Hogan and other members, the increase would be dramatically high at 50 percent and there would be difficulty in passing the increase with such little information.
There was a discrepancy between the mediation committee passing the proposal allowing for Diversity Development to hire its positions — an increase of $2.23 from the proposed $14.30.
• Members for the increase reasoned the process could be started and professional staff could be hired as quickly as possible.
• Members against the increase were not worried about the committee not extending the funding. Clarification within the committee guidelines also stated there are mandatory increases for programs.
The committee also looked at the need to keep equal standards for all institutions and proposals. Senator Madison Parker addressed this issue at the joint session, saying the committee does not approve the funding of new positions without job descriptions that have been worked through human resources.
• Those in favor of the increase found it was not specifically written down that committee could not approve funding for positions without a job description. Diversity Development presented a working job description to the mediation committee.
• Members against the increase of funding said while it was not written down, it was an implicit and strictly followed rule. The reasoning was repeated by several members of the committee that last year funding for a position was made without a job description and led to a delay in human resources. Today, that money is still unused and the position remains unfilled.
The majority of the meeting was held in this discussion and mainly members explaining and re-explaining their points.
Parker, Hogan and Terra Setzler along with Alvarez said they were not debating the need for these positions.
ASOSU President Amelia Harris was not in favor of voting down an increase along with Representative Matthew Palm.
The mediation committee after a 10-5 vote, kept funding at $14.30 for fall, winter and spring terms and $8.30 for summer.
There was an agreement about the need for continued communication with Diversity Development in order to make sure they will be as prepared as possible for the contingency proposal.
Ricky Zipp, news reporter