S&A committee hears first requests

CUB, University Recreation requested largest amounts, student involvement third



Julian Khalifa, undergraduate director of Students Book Corporation, left, and ASWSU Vice President Garrett Kalt listen to presentations during the Services and Activities meeting.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

The Services and Activities Fees Committee held their first of two meetings Monday night in the French Administration building for organizations to submit and justify their requests for student funds next year.

The meeting, headed by Chairman and ASWSU President Jordan Frost, lasted for three hours with 12 groups explaining the reasoning behind different monetary requests in front of the committee made up of student leaders, administrators, faculty and staff members.

The largest request came from the CUB and amounted to over $1.6 million in fees. Students Chloe Britton and Paul Choi represented the group at the meeting and cited reasons such as increases in minimum wage and prices statewide.

Choi said if the committee does not allocate the requested amount to the CUB, they will first look to save money by cutting certain services and may ask groups to start paying overhead when they use space in the building.

University Recreation asked for the next highest amount, requesting more than $1.5 million from students, a less than 1 percent increase from last year.

Nate Endebrock, an undergraduate student and UREC representative, spoke about how important the funds are to groups run through UREC, like WSU Cougar Crew, a rowing club.

“I personally urge you all to allocate to UREC the funds that we are requesting,” he said, “because in 30 years I would like to stand in [alumni’s] shoes and be able to tell the members of Cougar Crew that I owe my life and my successes to Cougar Crew.”

Student Involvement asked for the third-largest amount at a little under $940,000 for the 2018-19 school year, with about $13,000 additionally coming from carryover from this year. Rachel Spear, executive director of the Cougar Leadership Team, represented the group along with a graduate assistant.

The money the group gains from S&A fees represents crucial funds for their engagement events, the graduate assistant said.

While they asked for one of the largest amounts on the first day, they also said the group will give back around $113,000 of unused funds from the current fiscal year, while only keeping a little under $13,000 of surplus, according to their application.

The next-largest request came from the Athletics Department, which presented to the committee first. They requested the same amount as last year, about $750,000, according to their application.

Other than providing for athletes and fans, Athletic Director Pat Chun also pointed to employment opportunities for students. The department employs 392 students, according to their application.

“Those are pretty compelling numbers,” Chun said. “At the end of the day, I take great pride when I hear those numbers.”

The committee will regroup tomorrow at 5 p.m. to hear the final presentations before meeting again Wednesday to deliberate and decide how much to give each organization.

The group has set aside three hours to discuss the funding before finalizing their decisions, and Frost said he thinks the process may take the full allotment of time.

Frost and many of his fellow committee members hold positions or working relationships with some of the departments asking for student fees. The committee does not consider their other positions when coming to a decision on funding allocations, but there is no formal process in place to prevent any potential conflicts of interest.

“It’s more of an honor system in a way that you trust that person will be responsible with how they look at it and approach it,” Frost said.

The S&A fees breakdown should be available by Thursday, Frost said.