Vote nears for Student Association budget

The Student Association budget, currently undergoing a multi-stage approval process, is facing minor obstacles related to the allocation of funding for public safety aids, next year's Activities Commission concert line-up and SA-funded organizations' desire to increase their budgets.

Public safety aids are students who work on campus to assure student safety. Some involved in the budget process said they believe that campus safety should be left up to University Police. "As of now, the PSAs are in the budget as per what the budget review committee decided," said senior SA President Haleema Murtaza. "There can be no final decision made until the budget is finalized and that process probably will start next week with the executive committee."

Another issue of scrutiny has been next year's concert series. The fall Gym Class Heroes/Asher Roth concert yielded very little revenue and cost about $80,000. The spring concert was then canceled in order to avoid further depleting reserve accounts. SA Director of Business Affairs junior Mark Petrie said that next year's budget provides funding for a big-name headliner for a fall concert, which is intended to turn a profit. He said that a spring concert might be considered as well pending the success of the fall concert.

Petrie said that many organizations are now working with more realistic income lines that better project what they can actually expect to earn.

"In mid-February I asked all the organizations to submit budget proposals along with a rationale," said Petrie of the process through which the budget is ultimately developed. A three-person budget review committee then reviews the proposals with representatives of the organizations. Once the budget is finalized, it will be distributed to each SA-funded organization, and the organizations will then have a week to call the budget to question.

The next step is a two-week reading at SA business meetings, where the SA executive committee must approve it. If successful, it then goes up for approval with SA Advisor Tamara Kenney, Dean of Students Leonard Sancilio and President Christopher Dahl. The budget typically does not receive unequivocal approval until mid-summer.