S&A Committee makes blanket 2.5 percent cut

All departments will face individual, proposed blanket cut of at least 2.5 percent, with one exception


BONNIE JAMES | The Daily Evergreen

Mary Jo Gonzales, Vice President of Student Affairs, talks about being more responsible with money and simplifying WSU PR.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

The Student and Activities Fee Committee voted to reduce next years S&A fee contributions for all applicants, with the exception of ASWSU, during a 6.5 hour meeting Wednesday night.

The committee cut 2.5 percent from base requests, with the exception of the three ASWSU groups and Transportation Services. Transportation Services, however, had their initial request cut 5 percent and the committee discussed a 10 percent cut before decided on a lower amount.

They avoided the blanket 2.5 percent cut in order to keep the department from going into a deficit that could cause bus routes to be eliminated, ASWSU President and committee Chairman Jordan Frost said.

Along with this, the fees students must pay will drop 2 percent from the previous year. This drop came as an effort to ease financial burdens on students, members said.

“I think we would be doing a disservice to students if we didn’t at least play with numbers and try to cut it as much as we can,” ASWSU Representative on the committee Julian Khalifa said.

Frost said ASWSU, which was separated into three requests,  were exemption from the blanket cut and other committee cuts because the requests were smaller than last years.

The committee heard from 17 organizations and departments about their budget requests Monday and Tuesday, with last night’s deliberation lasting almost three hours over their planned time.

“I think this year’s committee was a lot more thoughtful and critical in considering the impact that these fees have to students,” Frost said, “understanding that it is going to be a hard decision for these departments to make cuts.”

Athletics received the biggest cut percentage at 12.5 percent of their requested amount, leaving them with about $660,000 in S&A fees for next year. The committee made the larger cut to Athletics in an attempt to transition them away from S&A fees to other revenue sources, according the S&A budget document.

The largest allocation of funds went to the CUB, which received a little more than $1.6 million after the blanket cut. The next largest amount went to University Recreation with $1.5 million after the cut, according to the S&A budget document.

The committee is made up of 13 members from multiple organizations: ASWSU has six members, GPSA has two members and Finance and Administration has two members. Individually,  Matthew Huddleson represented faculty, Brian Dixon represented the Office of the Provost, and WSU’s Chief Financial Officer Joan King represented the Budget Office. Vice President of Student Affairs, Mary Jo Gonzales, who is not listed on the committee’s website, also voted on the decisions.

The committee also made several recommendations to groups who requested fees. They asked for the Access Center to include participation numbers from their recent symposium and encouraged the Office of Student Media to report progress on additional funding sources and now that there is a new mandatory student fee, the committee anticipates the office to have lower dependence on S&A funding.

The committee also including a footnote commending ASWSU leadership for its, “modeling fiscal responsibility with student fees,” in the final budget documents.

Full requests and awards

  • Access Center – Disability Awareness requested $85,481 and received $83,246
  • ASWSU Administration/Executives requested $161,044 and received their full request
  • ASWSU Senate Programming requested $385,115 and received their full request
  • ASWSU Senate requested $117,035 and received their full request
  • Athletics made a one-time request of $754, 112 and received $659,848
  • The Center for Civic Engagement requested $348,891 and received $340,169
  • The Children’s Center requested $501,313 and received $429,158
  • Compton Union Building (CUB) requested $1,670,963 and received  1,629,189
  • Cougar Marching Band requested $246,523 and received 198,430
  • GPSA requested $576,439 and received $562,028
  • Health & Wellness Services requested $315,682 and received $307,790
  • The Student Entertainment Board requested $455,808 and received $444,413
  • Student Involvement requested $938,942 and received $915,468
  • Student Media requested $255,264 and received $248,882
  • Transit requested $537,081 and received $512,669
  • UREC requested $1,537,851 and received $1,529,630
  • Women’s Resource Center requested $190,000 and received $185,250

*Numbers may reflect an estimated carry-over of surplus funds from this academic year, which could change depending on if a department or organization spends more or less money before the end of the year. To see these estimates, please view the full document.

Yasmeen Wafai and Bre Searing contributed to this report

This story has been updated from it’s original version

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