ASWSU, GPSA prepares for S&A deliberations

ASWSU had internal cuts, GPSA received less money than they requested this school year



ASWSU Vice President Tyler Parchem says the organization has cut down on its programming costs as part of a university-wide drive to eliminate cost during an interview Friday in the CUB. GPSA was also affected by the push to reduce spending, and received less in the 2018-2019 school year than they asked for.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

As the Services and Activities (S&A) Fee Committee begins its 2019-2020 budget deliberations this week, members of ASWSU and GPSA are preparing to present their budget proposals.


ASWSU Vice President Tyler Parchem said the ASWSU Executive Budget is asking for about $270,000. There is a one-time request of $15,000 in the budget.

Parchem said ASWSU has three different budgets: Executive, Senate and Senate Programming.

The one-time request is for the Washington Student Association (WSA), a student lobbying group, because WSA dues have not been paid for three years, he said.

Next year’s dues and last year’s dues will be paid for with other pools of money, Parchem said.

The ASWSU Executive Budget was cut by around $100,000 for this school year, he said.

This was because former ASWSU President Jordan Frost and former Vice President Garrett Kalt focused on cutting down programming to make ASWSU more advocacy-based, he said.

The budget cut was internal, and the S&A Fee Committee did not reduce the budget further, Parchem said.

For the last five or so years, ASWSU has had less programming to concentrate more on advocacy, Parchem said.

He said he agrees that ASWSU should be more advocacy-based, but the organization also wants to include more programming opportunities, like the academic integrity week they held. The organization is also working on a high-impact training that will be about sexual assault and consent, Parchem said.

ASWSU could not have as many programs as they wanted to this past year. The organization also had to take money from other areas, such as equipment or public relations and marketing, he said.

ASWSU is also looking to increase wages, he said. The wages for ASWSU staff changed from hourly wages to stipends, which ASWSU had no control over, he said.

“In a silver lining sense, we’ve really focused on how we can save money and be really efficient with money, but at the same time, we’ve really had to say no to some things that were really cool,” Parchem said.

Cougar Choice Housing, which helps students find off-campus living, was supposed to be one of the departments ASWSU funded, but it had not been accounted for due to an error, Parchem said.

“We really made an effort to lay out everything for the next administration so that they don’t have to scramble for cash to put on some things,” he said.


GPSA received less money from the S&A Committee for the 2018-2019 school year than they asked for, GPSA President Amir Gilmore said.

This was partly because all budgets were cut by 2.5 percent, and students paid less for S&A fees, he said.

For the 2019-2020 school year, GPSA is asking for more money than what the organization received for this last school year.

However, GPSA expects a cut of 2.5 percent, and if that cut were to take place, then the organization would receive the same amount of money it received this last school year, Gilmore said.

GPSA’s budget for this year was $562,028, according to the S&A Fee website.

GPSA requested $576,690, according to a GPSA S&A Fees Request Narrative document.

In response to the budget cut, GPSA redid certain scholarships, programs and activities, he said.

“We may not have been able to offer as much of a robust service,” Gilmore said. “So it’s been difficult, but you find ways …  to rework money, rework programs, collaborate with others, so we did the best that we could.”

It was even more difficult, he said, because during the 2017-2018 school year, GPSA voted to increase the money it gave to the Children’s Center from $60,000 to $75,000.

For next year’s budget, GPSA is still planning to give the Children’s Center $75,000 because of how important the Children’s Center is, Gilmore said.

Gilmore said if the budget is cut more than they expect, then it would affect other parts of the budget, such as programs or travel grants.

However, he said, even with budget cuts from this school year, he thinks GPSA has done well to provide for graduate and professional students.

“Once the quality of services go down, credibility goes down too,” he said. “We want to make sure that what we offer is still robust. Hopefully, the budget stays the same [next year] because we’re used to what we have right now.”


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