Thursday, the Student Services Finance Committee heard from the Campus Women’s Center regarding their budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year and approved the budget for Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics. 

CWC member Nyla Mathis presented the organization’s eligibility and budget proposal. The CWC works to eradicate harmful ideologies towards women, the LGBTQ community, minority groups and many other communities and consequently provides resources to those communities.

Over the past year, Mathis said there were a lot of complications with the budget due to many members being new. They were eventually able to overcome some difficulties and are still looking to overcome others, Mathis said. The COVID-19 pandemic also caused difficulties for the organization.

“COVID-19 hit and responses from that caused us to stop planned programming and adjust to what was going on,” Mathis said. “But, we have tried to make the best of the situation so far.”

Mathis said they have some new hires and have been able to figure out their individual roles within the organization. They have made adjustments to make sure that everyone who works for the CWC can stay for two semesters so they can learn. If a staff member plans to leave, then they can train someone to take over the rest of their dedicated time with the organization.

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A large portion of the CWC’s requested budget was employee costs. For the past fiscal year, the CWC overspent the budget by quite a bit, which Mathis contributed to the overturn of coordinators because there was a lot of miscommunication about how the budget worked.

The CWC is tracking and logging the hours with the employees to mitigate these issues, Mathis said. 

Mathis then explained some of the organization’s core programming which included gender activism. 

“Activism serves to provide dialogue about different women’s and feminist issues with coordinators, outside speakers and especially leaders,” Mathis said. “We like to do this because while we are mostly familiar with issues regarding women and feminism, we like to invite others who may be more knowledgeable, or can provide outside resources that we can’t.” 

Due to miscommunication this past year, Mathis said the CWC overspent the budget for gender activism, but they plan to make sure communication goes as it is supposed to in the future.

Some of their other programming events included Kids Night Out and Kids Time, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the CWC does not plan on using the allocated budget for these programs. 

Another large portion of the CWC’s budget goes towards guest speakers. Specifically, the budget is used to bring in speakers to provide educational workshops and lectures. 

“We want to provide more knowledge and resources on topics such as sexism, classism, racism, ableism and many other forms of structural oppression,” Mathis said. “This is to make the campus seem more inclusive [in] looking to prevent acts of violence or oppression that may occur.”

Due to the pandemic, some of the CWC’s plans for guest speakers were cancelled. Initially, they did not think to conduct events online, but now they are coming up with more ways to invite speakers virtually and use more online platforms this semester and next semester, Mathis said. 

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SSFC will be discussing the CWC’s budget and eligibility status at the next meeting on Nov. 2. 

SSFC also approved the Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics eligibility with a vote of 11-0-1. Vice Chair Grace D’Souza proposed three amendments to the AHA’s requested budget of $53,003.50 based on wage analysis.

The first amendment was to decrease the programming chair salary from $4,158 to $3,465, and a two hour decrease in the work week from 12 to 10 hours. The amendment passed with a 10-0-1 vote. 

The second amendment was to decrease the marketing chair salary from $3,465 to $3,118.50, a total decrease of $346.50. The amendment passed with a vote of 12-0-1. 

The third amendment was to decrease the technology chair salary from $3,465 to $3,118.50, which represents a decrease from 10 hours per week to nine hours per week, which passed with a vote of 11-1-1.

The final budget for AHA was approved at $51,617.50, a 2.61% decrease from the requested budget with a vote of 12-0-1.