The annual Associated Student Government’s budget is more than $260,000 for the year 2006-2007. An unanswered question is how this large sum of money is acquired and, more importantly, how it is invested for the benefit of the students on campus.
ASGCC President David Arakelyan, who took on the additional role of treasurer (Vice President of Finance) after the retirement of the former AS treasurer at the beginning of the semester, explained how the funds are allocated and obtained.
Arakelyan explained that the AS budget is made up of various sources of funding and the largest portion that is donated to the budget comes from the $12.50 Student Services Fee that students have to pay when they register for classes. Other sources of the student government’s income come from vending machines, the bookstore, the coffee stand and other investment incomes.
The main purpose of the budget is to improve the student’s educational and learning experience in the college. The only basis of standard that is necessary to determine if the organization or club should be funded is if it will better and further enhance the learning environment and to make it even better.
He also talked about upcoming projects that ASGCC is planning for next year’s budget. “We are going to fund an even larger number of campus life programs,” said Arakelyan. Some of the new programs he mentioned is the Model United Nations , Speech and Debate Team, the North California Campus Tours, the Cultural Diversity Program as well as the Academic Decathlon. They hope that these programs will help enhance and improve the educational opportunities provided for students. Arakelyan explained why the AS picked mentioned these specifically.
“When we look at a funding request, we think about how it benefits the student body. We thought that these projects were among the most beneficial one involving the largest number of students,” said Arakelyan. “For example, the Academic Decathlon is one of the largest events on campus, directly involving over 100 participants and 200 viewers. Speech and Debate Team is also big in numbers, and they have done an outstanding job in terms of representing our students on state and national competitions.
“The California Tours have been very successful in the past, and students constantly request to have more buses available for travel. And we have decided to fund the Cultural Diversity Program because we think that it is important to promote cultural awareness and facilitate diversity at the college.”
He also explained the purposes of the ASGCC line-item budget accounts. The line-item budget accounts explains specifically where the money goes to. For example the Athletics Department has various branches of where the AS funds go too. It has a general fund that AS supplies for membership fees, subscription fees and athletic director fees in general. Other branches include the athletic trainer and the fall and spring post season. The athletic trainer expense is used to update and purchase equipment and supplies for the athletic training room, while the fall and spring post season fees purpose is used to cover additional expenses in case the teams win the championship at the end of each season.
The Athletic Department is the biggest area receiving the AS budget amounting about $56,000 in expenses due to the wide variety of sports offered here on campus in addition to the general fees previously mentioned.
Handling the budget is a hard task to be responsible for and needs complete accuracy and a strong management. To help overlook and guide the legislature is Dean of Student Affairs and AS advisor Paul Schlossman. He explained that his job is to direct the students to make responsible decisions on how to spend the budget. At times there have been ridiculous requests for the budget and that is where Schlossman comes in and addresses the problem, if any arise during this process.
The AS budget is meant to help students and improve the learning environment. “ASGCC is committed to funding items and programs that directly benefit the students, promoting student life and involvement with various extracurricular programs,” said Arakleyan.