Members of a committee of student government reviewed and approved their own budget for the next fiscal year at their final meeting of the semester on Monday.
The Student Services Finance Committee approved a budget of $170,714 for the fiscal year 2013-2014 by a vote of 12-1.
Committee members were split on how much money to strike from the training line of the budget. The amount the line was reduced by would determine whether or not the organization would hold their fall training retreat on campus or at an off campus location.
SSFC Rep. Richard Rolland said he felt the committee could easily do this training on campus in a place like the Memorial Union. He said reducing the funds for training would indicate the committee is responsible in spending money.
SSFC Rep. Ron Crandall asked committee members to consider how much of this burden they wanted to put on students. He advocated for the position by saying it should be each member’s choice if they want to pay all or part of their own way if they wanted to go on the retreat.
Several committee members, however, vouched for the benefits of funding an off campus retreat.
“We should think about what this does for the cohesion of the group,” SSFC Rep. David Vines said. “I don’t think this [training] would have the same effect in the union, where people can come and go.”
Vines also cited how previous off campus retreats have been tremendously helpful as a way to sit down with no distractions and go over the complicated aspects of eligibility and budget decisions.
According to SSFC Rep. Sarah Neibart, in past years the committee used to go to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
“I think we are better with the location now,” she said. “I don’t think having this training on campus is going to be effective.”
The committee ultimately voted to strike $500 from the training line, bringing it to $1,000 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
Rolland also advocated for reducing the outreach programming line of the budget. The funds have not been used in the past, he explained, and therefore they should not be in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
“I think every penny should be looked at when using students dimes,” Rolland said.
The committee voted to eliminate $250 from the outreach programming line. SSFC Rep. Tito Diaz said he thought some money should remain in the budget for this program for the committee leadership to work with.
Additionally, the committee approved zero funding for the advertising line of the budget. Rolland explained that the ASM Press Office often takes care of much of the advertising for the committee. He also said that committee members could advertise on their own time, without having to spend money.
SSFC will continue budget hearings and decisions at their first meeting of the spring semester on Thursday, January 24.