Groups present budget proposals to committee

Funding for individuals with disabilities, request money for accessible transportation, disability symposium emphasized



Rhea Gonzaga, Services and Activities (S&A) Fee committee member, left, asks a question about a proposed budget while Alec Solemslie, S&A Fee committee member, listens during the S&A hearing on Tuesday at Lighty Student Services building.

CAMERON SHEPPARD, Evergreen reporter

The Services and Activities Fee Committee held one of two hearings in which student groups and service organizations presented their budget proposals for the next year.

Student representatives from the Access Center requested $19,500 to help fund their disability awareness campaigns and events such as their second annual Disability Awareness Symposium. This symposium, which will begin at 9 a.m. on April 8 in the CUB Senior Ballroom and Butch’s Den, features speeches and seminars to help raise awareness and educate students.

Cameron Quy, president of the Disabled Students and Allies Club (DSAAC), said that stigmas, myths and assumptions made about people with disabilities are still very prevalent on campus. Disability awareness programs through the Access Center help educate students and dispel stigmas.

The WSU transit program asked the S&A committee for $538,302 to help pay the contract with Pullman Transit that provides unlimited bus service to WSU students.

Matthew Winchell of the Transit Advisory Group said the transportation services offer a low-cost alternative for students to commute to their classes.

“The transit service is there for students when they need it,” Winchell said.

WSU Transportation Services Director John Shaheen said most of the money the transit program receives from S&A fees will go towards paying the contract with Pullman Transit, but the funding will also help bolster their reserved revenue.

Shaheen said the state legislation on next November’s ballot could negatively impact funding for public transportation. The S&A funding would help create a cushion of reserved funding in case of a crisis in which they would have to make cut-backs.

Cougar Accessible Transportation Services (CATS), which provides accessible transportation for students with disabilities, requested $68,824 for maintenance, wages for drivers and salary for a coordinator position.

CATS student representative Brandon Viall said it would cost each student close to what a cup of coffee costs to fund CATS, but the services they provide are invaluable to him.

“This is what allows individuals with disabilities to get to class,” Viall said, “It levels the field.”

Representatives from the WSU Children’s Center proposed an S&A fee allowance of $404,516 to pay wages for the student employees they hire.

Brenda Boyd, executive director of the Children’s Center, said the child care facility hires 120 student employees over the course of the year.

Angel Perez, an employee at the children’s center, said the center provided him a job and the financial support he needed to further his education.

The Center for Civic Engagement requested $391,533 to pay for staff wages and salaries, a replacement vehicle and a new organizational digital hub to increase the number of civic engagement opportunities they can offer for students.

University Recreation proposed an allotment of $1,915,726 from the S&A committee.

UREC Advisory Board Chair Nicholas Krebs said this money is primarily to pay staff wages and to continue to offer diverse recreational and fitness programs for students.

UREC representatives requested $18,000 for wheelchairs for recreational activities such as wheelchair basketball.

Student representative Kiera Magrane said cuts to the UREC budget could affect its growth, and the opportunities and programs they offer.

The Office of Student Media requested $253,882 to pay for staff wages and to fill salaried positions.

Representatives from Cougar Health Services requested $313,797 to hire a supervisor of health coordinators, staff positions and to continue providing physical and mental health education.