Debates about the budgets of Athletics, ASWSU and Multicultural Student Services highlighted the Services and Activities Fees Committee deliberation meeting.
The Services and Activities (S&A) Fees Committee recommends the distribution of student fees for various groups on campus to the Board of Regents. Total allocations this year totaled to about $8.5 million.
The members of the committee motioned in their deliberation of the Athletics budget to make the amount requested a one-time allocation. Athletics asked S&A for a budget of $900,849, which is a zero percent increase from last year's request.
Associate Vice President of Business and Finance Barry Johnston, who represented the president’s office on the committee, talked about the intended effect of this action.
“I think it’s quite a statement for all of that existing (budget) in a one-time and say ‘you know it can go away as easily as it came,’” Johnston said. “I think that that’s a very, very strong message, and if they don’t get it there are next decisions, next steps to make.”
The committee discussed the possibility of also decreasing the amount allocated Athletics. Riley Myklebust, ASWSU President and committee chair, said any cuts made would affect student job opportunities and wages.
“I would say that the decrease in their budget based on one year's bad presentation is a decrease in non-athletic students more than it is athletic,” Myklebust said.
The presentation of Athletics left lasting impressions with the board. Jason McConnell, GPSA Vice President and committee member, said the Athletics presentation gave off a sense of entitlement to funds that he found disrespectful to the students.
McConnell said he liked the idea of sending a message through the one-time allocation but he does not want to hinder Athletics'progress in renovations and staffing.
“What I would really like to see is a plan,” McConnell said. “It can be a long-term plan, I’m okay with that, but a long-term plan for how Athletics is going to reduce its reliance on S&A.”
The ASWSU Committee Programming budget raised concerns about the WSU student benefit of conferences held by ASWSU Multicultural Committees to encourage high school students to attend college.
The S&A Fees Committee supported the actual ASWSU Committee Programming budget of $253,609. However, they included a footnote that limits the increase in their budget to support programs for only current WSU students.
Amanda Spalding, ASWSU vice president and committee member, discussed the importance of clarifying the budget increase.
“If that line doesn’t go on, we’ve heard this year a reason that some of the conferences have been able to grow is because they’ve taken other pieces of their budget to increase their conference budget,” Spalding said.
Spalding said the goal of the footnote is to start the conversation of change in ASWSU programming to benefit current students and not prospective students.
District 10 Sen. Alex Smith said the main point is whether or not current students should be paying for conferences that benefit high school students who may not attend WSU.
MULTICULTURAL STUDENT SERVICES
The one-time request by Multicultural Student Services (MSS) had committee members questioning aspects of their presentation. MSS requested $30,000 from the S&A Fees Committee to help fund their 25th anniversary celebration.
The committee noted in the request that $10,000 would go toward the MSS graduation. McConnell said he was not comfortable with this.
“It turns out the very nice folks in other levels and offices of this building work extremely hard to put on commencement a couple times a year,” McConnell said. “I don’t see why student fee money should be going to pay for other ones.”
The committee did grant $20,000 to recognize the importance of the 25th anniversary celebration. However, they included a footnote that limits the funding MSS may receive toward the celebration and not the graduation.