A.S. Council Expends Student Organization Funds

A.S. Council Expends Student Organization Funds

This article has been updated to reflect corrected information.

A.S. Vice President of Finance and Resources Igor Geyn announced that A.S. Council exhausted the $430,000 that it allocated toward student organizations and programming events this year via an April 14 letter to all of the student organizations registered with the Center for Student Involvement.

Though A.S. Council will not fund any programming events with application deadlines on or before May 1, 2015, organizations can still request A.S. funding for any events that take place next school year.

“A.S. funding for these events has not been exhausted, and organizations are still expected to meet these deadlines with no exceptions,” Geyn said in the letter.

According to Geyn, the Office of Student Organizations had already received over 450 requests for over $747,000 in A.S. programming funding, compared to the previous year’s 439 requests for $601,000. However, A.S. Council did not approve all of these requests due to its Funding Guide policies. 

“While the new Funding Guide policies have allowed us to stretch these dollars as much as possible,” Geyn said in the letter. “The sheer volume of requests has placed considerable strain on student organization funding.”

Michael Wu, who is the music director of the UCSD Tritones, expressed his disappointment with A.S. Council and the financial situation that it placed his organization in. 

“We go in with the expectation that A.S. [Council] has planned things out and has enough funds for the school year,” Wu told the UCSD Guardian. “They promised a realistic budget that would account for student organization funding and they did not follow up on it.”

Wu believes that A.S. Council should retrieve and use funds from its Mandated Reserves to continue funding student organizations for the remainder of the year.

“Last year’s council retrieved $60,000 from mandated reserves to fund student programming, which we thought was a really good, proactive stance,” Wu said. “They have the precedence, and at the end of the day, they should’ve known better and they should’ve found solutions before it went into failure.”

Geyn argues that pulling funds out of A.S. Council’s reserves would be irresponsible due to its current financial circumstances. 

“Our mandate reserves are currently at $120,000, which is below the 5-percent amount that A.S. [Council] should be at,” Geyn told the Guardian. “Even a combination of over-spending in a couple of the different offices could have a major impact on the budget or could actually bankrupt the organization.”

Though it was discussed at last week’s A.S. Council meeting, there was not an official motion to use its mandated reserves to continue funding student organizations. 

Moreover, Student Life Business Operations, which handles fund management and disbursement, discovered an additional $80,000 in the A.S. budget a few weeks ago. The error was found by Financial Analyst Evelyn Rose and, according to SLBO Business Officer Doug Carlone, the A.S. VP of Finance Office double-counted an item in the budget.

Wu is skeptical about the discovery of these funds and believes A.S. Council should be held responsible.

“How did all of a sudden $80,000 appear? That’s not just a simple accounting mistake. That’s a huge fuck-up that we have to drill you to get resolved,” Wu said. “There is a clear lack of oversight in terms of accountability for our A.S. officers.”

At last week’s meeting, A.S. Council voted not to allocate any of the newfound $80,000 toward student programming. 

In his letter, Geyn welcomed student organizations to contact him about further information and assured that his office is doing what it can to support student organizations.

“A.S. [Council] is working with other campus entities to learn about alternative sources of funding that we can recommend to your organizations in an effort to preserve your events and programs,” Geyn said.

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