Council Releases 2013-2014 Summer Budget


A.S. Council released its 2013–2014 summer budget last week, containing projected fund allocations for referenda, administration and various A.S. offices. Put forth by Vice President of Finance Sean O’Neal and approved by council, the budget will be in effect until week 5 of fall quarter, when A.S. reconsiders the budget during its Fall Revise. 

Including operating reserves, referendum reserves and the A.S. activity fee income — considering a $562,417 return to financial aid — this year’s council has an expendable fund total of $2,786,514, to be distributed throughout the coming term.

According to O’Neal, much of the budget remained consistent from previous years, due to constitutional locked-in referendum allocations to Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Services, Academic Success Program, Student-Initiated Access Programs and Services, and the Student Sustainability Collective. For these referenda, A.S. has allocated $511,874.

Regarding internal office allocations, O’Neal has provided each section — including the office of the president, finance and resources, student life and external affairs — with contingency funds to be expanded upon following the Fall Revise.

“I basically gave each office a contingency fund so they can plan events all the way up to week 5,” O’Neal said. “Which is basically telling students that these are things happening in their offices. This way, they at least have some money set aside to advertise for events [after the Fall Revise].”

Changes within office allocations include an increase to $75,000 for the A.S. Concerts and Events’ Hullabaloo festival to feature more rides and attractions and $25,000 for the All Campus Dance in order to enhance security and transfer to a larger location.

Collectively, allocations for offices total $338,884 with administrative expenses as well as council stipends totaling $669,690, ending in a 52.74 percent over-allocation of $1,199,597.

O’Neal also said that budget revisions during the Fall Revise will focus on the current $7,345 allocation to college council funding, marking the first time that council has provided funds to college councils since 2006.

The Buselt Administration planned to address the issue of college council funding since the start of its term, with the decision to allocate funds made shortly after a meeting with college council presidents during week 6 of spring quarter.

However, due to the recent grievance filed against A.S. Council regarding the alleged unconstitutional elimination of funding to college councils, all allocations to college councils are contingent upon the outcome of the Judicial Board hearing.

“I met with the CCPs and I asked them what they wanted to do with the college council funding,” O’Neal said. “Basically every college council except for Marshall asked for the funding back, and only one college council asked for the back funding. I already told the college councils that I would fund them all the way up until the Fall Revise, but because the grievance came about, I don’t know what’s going to happen with everything.”

Should the Judicial Board mandate that A.S. Council continue providing funding to college councils in accordance with the 1987 referendum — at a rate of 65 cents per student per quarter — A.S. will revise its budget to reflect the entire $44,070 allocation to college councils, with the inclusion of a $248,144.85 retroactive allocation if required.

In the coming weeks, O’Neal and the rest of the Buselt Administration will prepare for Judicial Board, introducing an undisclosed council representative for the hearing following Advocate General Collette “Max” Tamez’s resignation.

“We have ongoing talks with the current college councils,” A.S. Council President Andy Buselt said. “We’re looking for a solution that’s also healthy for A.S. Council’s budget.”