Academic Senators’ Budget Left Unspent

A.S. Council senators have used less than a third of their allocated funding as of Feb. 26, according to A.S. Vice President Finance and Resources Sean O’Neal. Only $1,475 of the 2013–14 senator initiative budget has been allocated out of the total $5,000 available.

The funding used so far was allocated to only three senators. However, a multitude of new requests are coming in for senator projects to be completed in the final few weeks of their terms.

One notable reason for the excess of remaining funds is that college senators often draw funds from their college council funds rather than from the A.S. Council budget.

Sixth College Senator Allison Bagnol used SCSC money to fund her first project, an event in which she gave out free ice cream and bananas while discussing fair trade, because it was located in Sixth College and thus she felt it aimed more at Sixth College students. Her upcoming project, however, targets all students and thus she plans on requesting money from the A.S. budget.

VP Finances and Resources Sean O’Neal also notes that many senators are involved in projects that do not require funding, such as sitting on committees and taking up offices. According to O’Neal, the senators had a $10,000 dollar budget in previous years and it was often used entirely.

“Personally, I don’t think a lot of senators have done enough in their positions,” O’Neal said. “I think this is actually representative of senators not using the A.S. resources as much as they could be, because the accountability is really hard to keep there.”

However, O’Neal said he hopes that senators will use the end of their terms to complete projects they may have started.

Any leftover money will go into a pool of rollover funds. Fifty percent of this money will go into mandate reserves, and the other 50 percent will go to the executive budget for next year.