The Student Services Finance Committee approved the budget for the Muslim Students Association and heard a budget hearing from Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment.
Chair of PAVE Saja Bilasan said PAVE’s goal as an organization is to offer support to victims of sexual assault and violence. She said they differ from University Health Services for several reasons.
“We differ from UHS’ violence prevention services because we are a peer group,” Bilasan said. “We are also not formally trained as professionals.”
Bilasan said PAVE runs events on campus and brings speakers in to educate students about violence prevention, LGBTQ+ issues and social justice. Their largest event is Sexual Assault Awareness month in April, where they bring in speakers and produce events to promote sexual education.
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PAVE runs some events where they hand out free condoms, Bilasan said. She said the condom drives are important to PAVE’s mission.
“It’s really important for us to encourage safe sex as it’s really in line with safe relationships,” Bilasan said.
PAVE staffs 10 employees. In fiscal year 2019, Bilasan said PAVE spent $43,131 of their $52,603 employee budget for an 18.78% return. Bilasan said they’d had some staffing issues which left three paid positions unfulfilled for much of the year. For fiscal year 2021, they requested $51,365. They hope to implement a month-long shadowing program for employee retention.
Overall, PAVE requested $82,583 for fiscal year 2021. This is a 1.19% decrease from their current budget. SSFC will decide on their budget next Monday.
SSFC debated the Muslim Student Association’s budget. MSA requested an increase of $8,400 from last year, a 21% increase. Vice Chair Tessa Reilly said the committee shouldn’t approve the budget without thinking it over and making some changes, since the MSA requested such a large increase.
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After a 10-minute recess, the committee went through and made several line edit budget cuts. They cut $2,000 allocated for a speaker and $400 allocated for long distance speaker transportation because the MSA budget already allocated $10,000 for speakers. They cut MSA’s printing budget in half and their advertising budget by 25%, among other minor changes like reducing their workshop budget.
Representative Anna Barry said the extent of the changes might come as a shock to the MSA, but Representative Pranav Julakanti said since the organization requested a large increase with little evidence to prove they could spend it, cutting the budget was a responsible move for the committee.
“We also have to understand this is a large jump … and they still don’t have returns,” Julakanti said. “This is the fiscally responsible thing to do.”
Once edited, the budget came to $38,538, a $10,715 — or 21.83% — decrease from what they’d originally requested. SSFC passed the amended budget with a vote of 13-0-1.