The MultiCultural Student Coalition will receive nearly $50,000 less than what they requested for their budget for the upcoming year.
After a drawn-out debate, the Student Services Finance Committee passed MCSC’s budget request at $273,363, which is $49,880 less than what they requested and $75,391 less than their 2008-09 academic year budget.
Several previous budget cuts for the group were reversed, restoring more than $12,000 for two diversity education positions, one at 15 hours per week and the other at 12 hours per week.
SSFC Secretary Kyle Szarzynski said the restoration was a good idea after talking to several members of MCSC who made it clear these positions were a priority for them.
“Diversity education positions are really central to the group’s mission and purpose,” Szarzynski said. “It would affect the operation of the group in the future if these positions didn’t remain.”
SSFC Vice Chair Carl Fergus agreed with the restoration of funds. He hopes that, by restoring funding for these positions, MCSC will be motivated to possibly fill other positions with unpaid staff.
“This is a position that deals with their direct service,” Fergus said. “Any further cuts in staff will hinder the organization and we should let them adjust to the new structure.”
SSFC member Brandon Williams said the committee needs to be careful when cutting job positions from groups.
“We’ve seemingly made a practice of supporting groups who have small continual growth, so we should support it in reverse too,” Williams said. “We can’t expect to cut all positions from a group and expect them to function properly next year. It’s going to take time.”
Other budget cuts SSFC made include striking $1,000 from a hip-hop conference; $5,200 from computer, hardware and software resources; $2,205 from an outreach summer position and $1,000 from the Greek Collaborations Workshop Program.
Fergus said MCSC’s budget request for the Greek workshop was too vague.
“I’m not comfortable having $3,000 dollars in the budget for this program when we’re not sure where it’s going, or what it’s going to be used for,” Fergus said.
Williams agreed the request was unclear, but added it did an adequate job of expressing its goal.
“Its purpose is to educate and bring people together, which I feel is a large part of MCSC,” Williams said.
Alimatu Sirleaf, executive member of MCSC, said the coalition is one of the only groups that caters to the needs of minority students, though they also try to impact the campus as a whole.
“MCSC serves not only for students of color on campus and marginalized groups but all students,” Sirleaf said. “We strive to create a better environment on campus.”