By Jacob Snyder, Contributor
After much discussion, debate, and deliberation by the Student Activities Budget Commission (S.A.B.C.) and the presenting of the proposals to Senate, organization budgets for the 2012-2013 academic year have been finalized.
The committee is formed each year. At each one a representative from each campus organization presents their budget proposal. People are given the opportunity to ask questions or voice any concerns they might have.
The committee held their first meeting on Jan. 23. Caleb Dewitt, director of the Gender and Sexual Orientation organization, was the first presenter. In the budget, he requested an additional $400 be put in “advertising,” so G.S.O. could promote themselves, and $7,500 in “conferences” so people could be trained at the conferences.
Women’s Resource Center Director Haili Copas-Starke requested an additional $200 for promotions and $400 in advertising for her organization. The promotions funds are used to provide people with information about the agency while advertising funds are used to advertise W.R.C. events.
Datrell Morgan, director of the Network for Disability Awareness Program, proposed to reduce his organization’s total budget by $2,000.
Brandee Alexander, director of the American Multicultural Students Organization, was absent, so Devin Bertelsen, director and chief administrative officer of student government, stepped in for her. Bertelsen spoke about the budget, but a vote was passed to table the discussion until Alexander could be there.
Finally, Natalie Hatfield, director of the International Student Services Organization, spoke. The concern the committee had was with the high food costs. Hatfield said it was because the food has to be catered by the university.
Alexander was the first to present on Jan. 30. She was asked about moving the total budget from $8,500 to $7,000 even though the estimation was over $7,000 for the upcoming year. Alexander said that she thinks the next director can make some beneficial changes and still have effective programming.
Next to present was student government. Several people voiced their concerns to Bertelsen about the Maverick Ride passes being boosted from 600 to 800. She was asked if whether this number is too high. Bertelsen said that the program is in a growth process right now.
“There are students coming in for their first semester and saying they want a bus pass, and they are going to come back next semester and tell other people about it,” Bertelsen said. “So I only see the program growing from here.”
Despite Bertelsen’s rebuttal, a motion was passed and the budget for Maverick Ride was cut $6,000.
Two major questions came up after Kelsey Jochum, editor-in-chief of The Gateway, presented her budget proposal. The first was whether or not it is necessary for senior management to make as much money as they do, and the second is whether contractual contributors should be paid at all.
Jochum, replying to the first question, said the paper thought it was a fair amount to pay the senior management because of the time they spend working on the paper and managing their writers.
As for the contractual contributors, some believed that they should also get paid while others thought it should be more about the learning experience. In the end, a motion was passed to move the total budget for contractual contributors from $16,000 to $0.
Often a more formal discussion, the committee voted to make it open, to talk about paying the contractual contributors. Jochum was asked if the newspaper would struggle or even disappear if they were not paid.
“A lot of students are driven by [the fact] they are going to get paid that money to write the story,” Jochum said. “I don’t see it being very likely that students would approach us to write for us if they weren’t going to get paid because they could go to a different publication and get paid.”
Other S.A.B.C. members disagreed and said there would not be a lack of student contributions.
“I don’t think $10 is enough to really be considered an incentive,”, S.A.B.C member Ryan Tefft. “I mean the $10 is pocket change. It really is.”
Keshia Floyd, director of Maverick Productions, and Krystal Kessler, Maverick Production Treasurer, presented their budget. The main concern expressed was the amount requested for Midnight Mojo.
The amount was significantly lower and one member said they thought this was going to set the program up for failure. Many supported increasing the amount because they said it was a place for students to go instead of drinking.
In the end, a vote was taken and the program was awarded $5,000 more.
In the third week, Dr. Thomas Wallace presented and spoke about Fund B, which includes Student Health Services, Campus Recreation, Intercampus shuttle services, athletics, the Milo Bail Student Center, musical group support, student organization, leadership programming, and facilities reserve.
Wallace said the 4.8 percent increase in a student’s flat fees is based on the increase in salary, benefits, health insurance and other areas affected by Fund B, where requests were made and not received.
On Feb. 9, the budgets were presented to Senate. The budgets were then looked at, amended and approved. The following groups had their budgets approved without any other changes made: G.S.O., W.R.C., N.D.A., A.M.S., and I.S.S.
As for the Gateway, the contractual contributor’s budget was brought down to $0, and payment for the senior management was reduced 33 percent to $10,300. The total for Maverick Productions budget increased by $47,000 from last year..