Council Passes Fall 2012 Budget

    A.S. Council has found itself in a precarious position: trying to find funding for all of the projects, organizations and activities it has supported in the past, while facing the effects of the deficit and budget shortfalls. Council passed a revised version of the Fall 2012 budget at their Oct. 24 meeting — but not without a few hours of heated debate first.

    Council approved a total of $2,344,618 worth of items. The budget’s passing proved very difficult for council — much of the debate focused on shifting money between different offices.

    The majority of council agreed that they could not pull money out of reserves which have already been depleted to $312,000 from the $700,000 it should be at or over-allocate, part of what caused this huge deficit in the first place. An increase for one item meant making cuts from another.

    “Nobody, whether it be the Associated Students or any other entity, should ‘want’ to cut funding without legitimate reason,” Vice President of Finance Bryan Cassella said. “It was difficult, but ultimately it was passed, the budget is balanced and we didn’t use reserves or over-allocate which would have been fiscally irresponsible.”

    A large part of the discussion circled around two particular items on the budget, First-Year Council and UCSD’s Cultural Celebration.

    The Office of College Affairs and its Associate Vice President Leonard Bobbitt runs the First-Year Council. During the meeting, he advocated very strongly for First-Year Council to receive up to eight times the $1,000 it had been allocated. The discussion ended when Bobbitt and 10 other senators gave up their stipends to First Year Council.

    UCSD’s Cultural Celebration is a festival run by the Office of Diversity Affairs that annually takes place on Admit Day in Marshall College’s Ridge Walk. The event began in 1978 and is the second longest standing tradition at UCSD besides the end-of-the-year Watermelon Drop event.

    Council discussed taking money from A.S. Grants, which is overseen by the Office of Student Affairs. It ultimately decided against this when upon discovering that in order to protect funding for A.S. Grants, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Sammy Chang had already cut most of his other programs. As a result there will be no Dine With a Professor Program this year.

    This year, other programs that will receive zero funding from A.S. Council are Circle K’s Masquerade Ball, A.S. Essentials, business cards and Summer Staff Development.

    Two Associate Vice Presidents, Bobbitt and Chang, and more than ten senators gave their stipends to the budget.

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