Apr 192010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

The student body will be shouldering a $33,562 fee increase –– 75 cents per student per semester –– for the Associated Students of CSU budget next year.

Of the supplemental funding, which was approved in Monday’s Student Fee Review Board meeting, $15,308 will go to Student Media, $6,000 to Student Funding Board and $5,000 to producing the student handbook.

The leftover $2,255 not allocated to those three areas will be distributed throughout the budget.

In addition to requesting an increase, President-elect Cooper Anderson and Vice President-elect Jennifer Babos reworked ASCSU’s budget. The duo eliminated funding streams to the Department of Environmental Affairs and raised salaries for all cabinet positions other than themselves.

“It’s hard to attract the best and brightest across campus when you can’t even compete with Subway downstairs,” Anderson said during the budget presentation, adding that upping the salaries will attract a more diverse group of applicants.

“We want all voices to be heard,” Babos said. “We want people from all socioeconomic statuses to be a part of ASCSU.”

The organization currently pulls in $35.17 per student every semester, or just more than $1.7 million. With this increase, students will pay $35.92 per semester into ASCSU’s budget.

Anderson and Babos vowed not to raise student fees during their campaign, but said when they entered office and began planning the budget for the coming year, they were faced with “realities.”

SFRB serves as an advising body to the CSU System Board of Governors, which will approve the final fee package. ASCSU Vice President Tim Hole, who also chairs SFRB, had to break the tie for Anderson and Babos’ budget approval.

As current vice president, Hole is charged with training incoming leaders but said he had “minimal” involvement with the budget proposal.

Board member Casey Schilling said he voted against the 75 cent increase because of the nature of the changes to their budget.

“It’s not fair to increase salaries when there is a salary freeze for teachers and administrators are seeing salary cuts,” he said.

The student handbook, Babos said, needs a funding cushion because, in the past, the organization hasn’t met target-advertising revenue.

When the duo gave their presentation to the board last week, they also eliminated ASCSU’s Department of Diversity and Outreach and announced before Monday’s vote that they would rework the entity to serve as the Department of Student Engagement.

The new department will focus on gathering input from all students.

Babos said she and Anderson don’t like having an organization that acts diverse and a director of Diversity makes it seem “dangerously” like he or she is an expert. After talking to cultural awareness centers on campus, she said, she will take on the responsibility of building relationships with those organizations.

The team will also focus on raising sexual assault awareness through a $5,000 interpersonal violence program with two coordinators who will be paid $4,000 each, in addition to the $5,000, to advocate for policy changes on campus, Babos said.

Once the ASCSU Senate ratifies job descriptions, Anderson said they plan to market across campus for positions, rather than just pulling all cabinet members from existing staff. Once their cabinet is hired, he and Babos will focus on professional development and retaining students.

In addition to the ASCSU fee increase, ­­SFRB re-heard a proposal from Association for Student Activity Programming, which was denied its original requested for a $2 increase to boost student-initiated programs.

SFRB approved a $1.75 increase for ASAP after the organization provided the board with more information about student interest in their programs pitching more cooperation with student organizations to put on events.

A 90 cent increase was approved for Campus Recreation, totaling $115.58 per student per semester. The allocation will go toward creating a full-time injury care position to serve both the Student Recreation Center and CSU’s club sports teams.

SFRB will present the “Long Bill,” the bill encompassing the student fee package, to the ASCSU Senate for approval Wednesday. The approved Student Fee Package will go to the BOG for approval during its May meeting.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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