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Budget increases on the table for next year

By Danielle Manley
On March 26, 2014

Budget increases and decreases took up the majority of discussion time during the USU Student Association Executive Council meeting Tuesday.

Though the newly elected officers weren’t present, the 2013-14 officers were asked to comment on their budget and if they would request more or less money.

The rough number for the entire budget for the group, proposed by Linda Zimmerman, Student Involvement and Leadership executive director, is $928,000 with $10,000 coming from student fees.

Proposed increases included $1,300 for the Greek Council, $2,400 for a new position under Public Relations and Marketing and $3,000 for the President’s Fund.

Kevin Webb, assistant director for Student Involvement, is the adviser for the Greek Council and asked for the increase. USU/SA President Doug Fiefia said the reason for the proposal is because the Greek Council spends most of its budget on Greek leadership weekend.

“That council doesn’t really do a lot, especially activites-wise, because they don’t have any money,” said Matt Anderson, senator for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. “It’s not just for the Greeks, it’s for the university as whole ... I think it’s an investment in the university, not just an investment in Greeks.”

Public Relations and Marketing director Casey Saxton and Matt Ditto, senator for the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, disagreed with the potential placement of the money.

“I think they have the means necessary to raise the money,” Saxton said.

Ditto, who will be Student Advocate next year, said he’d rather see more money placed in the Academic Opportunity Fund.

Saxton said he wants to see an increase in the Public Relations fund instead to hire either a videographer or an assistant Public Relations and Marketing director.

“That’s a dream and there’s not necessarily money in the budget to do that,” Saxton said.

He said it would be a good idea to try it for a year and if it works, find money to fund the position for the future.

“I’ve seen what the PR office can do for all of us,” said College of Engineering senator Tucker Smith. “I had a ton of stuff for E-Week, and they couldn’t do all of it.”

Fiefia said it would possible to fund both positions.

Zimmerman and Fiefia proposed a $3,000 increase to the President’s Fund. Because of uncertainty about the budget last year, the two decided to cut $3,000 out of the fund. Zimmerman said it’s been hard without that money this year.

“I feel like that needs to go back into the president’s account,” she said. “We are literally counting pennies out of the account this year because of that cut.”

Zimmerman’s recommendation was passed by the Executive Council and members of the Academic Senate present. The proposal will be reviewed by the newly elected officers before being passed.
Twitter: @daniellekmanley

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