The Student Services Finance Committee listened to the Working Class Student Union budget request for the upcoming fiscal year of 2017-18 Monday, which requests a 4 percent decrease in funds.
The student organization’s budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year was $56,715.50, and they’re requesting $54,455.50 for the 2017-18 fiscal year — a $2,260 decrease. This is a significant difference from last year when the WCSU budget request increased from $40,2093.05 in 2015-16 to their current amount.
Emily Biersdorf, president of WCSU, said this is because SSFC approved a student wage increase from $9.69 to $10.50 per hour which went into effect in July this past summer. WCSU has five officer positions who work 10 to 20 hours per week, Biersdorf said.
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Hong Trinh, the finance director of WCSU, said the organization offers a safe space for working class students to gather and share their experiences about issues that impact their community, such as tuition increases and lack of representation in curriculum.
“Our mission supports and advocates for first-generation, non-traditional, transfer and working class college students while educating the campus on the benefits of celebrating class diversity,” Trinh said.
WSCU returned $9,000, or 19 percent, of their approved budget for the fiscal year of 2015-16 to SSFC. Though student wages increased, WCSU returned $3,000 of the money allocated for student wages because most employees were away during the summer term, Trinh said.
But WCSU requested the same amount of $1,718 from last year’s budget to be allocated for student wages. Trinh said they’ll need a more student hours this year to increase WCSU’s presence on campus.
In order to prevent a waste of funds, Trinh said they will be tracking student hours more along with what they did during those hours through an Excel spreadsheet.
“There is a lot more visibility and accountability in hours,” Trinh said.
Though WCSU is asking for an increase in funds for software, advertising and their end-of-semester potluck, the main reason this budget request is lower than last year’s is because they recently moved into a new office space.
WCSU no longer needs extra funding to pay for a venue to host their Holiday Art Night where students create and make holiday art, Trinh said. WCSU does not need much funding for resource development because their new library in their new office space has become more established, Trinh said.
“We were really building up our resource library and starting from scratch, but now as our resource library becomes more established it is really less about building it and more about maintaining it,” Trinh said.
SSFC will make a decision on whether or not they will approve or amend WCSU’s approved budget for the fiscal year of 2017-2018 during their meeting next Monday.
SSFC approved also F.H. King’s requested budget for the fiscal year of 2017-2018 without any amendments.