Budget Issues Concern Student Leaders

El Vaquero Staff Writer

It’s the time of year when the ASGCC must decide how to distribute $25,000 of its budget that is allocated to the Campus Project Support Applications.

The organization, whose budget for the 2005-2006 academic year is $262,252.72, is in the middle of discussions regarding the allocation of funds.

The ASGCC’s quarter of a million dollar budget is generated from multiple sources and benefits several organizations and committees on campus.

“ASGCC receives part of its revenue from operations of vending machines and the Student Center,” said Vice President of Finance, David Arakelyan. “We also receive income from investments that have been made through the College Foundation.”

However, the largest source of income for the AS is the $15 Student Services Fee, which is divided amongst the organization and the school district.

Half of the ASGCC’s revenues are placed in the annual budget and the remainder is deposited to the Emergency Funding Support, which is designed to aid services eliminated during budget cuts.

The budget shortages of recent years have given the Emergency Funding Support program much significance by creating a financial safety net for important programs that fail to receive funding.
With one of the largest budgets of any organization on campus, the AS provides a great deal of financial support to sports teams and clubs on campus, which receive a majority of their funding through the Special Organizations Support and Organizational Event Support Applications.

The AS also plays a role in financing the Career and Writing Centers as well as the dance and music departments.

It seems that the appropriation of funds is an ongoing process for the AS Legislature.

According to Arakelyan, “disbursement of funds occurs every week, with the Legislature approving all appropriations with a two-thirds vote. The Legislature has complete control of the distribution of funds.”

Among the Campus Project Applications up for discussion this semester are whether to provide the funding needed to extend the library hours during finals, and the media arts department’s request for money in order to buy equipment for a campus radio station.

At the end of each semester, the library extends its hours of operation in order to accommodate students who are looking for a quiet place to study during finals.

The AS unanimously voted to approve $1,104.49 for the extension of library hours by 6.5 hours from May 31 through June 12.

According to Arakelyan, this application should be approved because “it benefits students by giving them access to databases, materials for research, and librarians.”

The deciding factor behind approval of Campus Project Support Applications is their benefit a majority of students.

A project which failed to meet ASGCC’s standard of importance to students was the media arts department’s request to buy Apple laptops and other equipment needed to set up a pod cast station on GCC radio.

The project, which would cost the AS $2,855.88, was expunged by the finance committee due to lack of student interest in the college’s existing radio station.

According to the finance committee, the radio station already has equipment and the students don’t benefit from it because most aren’t aware of its existence.

Syuzanna Petrosyan was the one dissenting AS member who voted in favor of the project.

“If the program isn’t successful because most people don’t know it exists, then maybe it needs the funding so that it can get the word out about GCC’s radio station,” said Petrosyan.

The media arts department may have to put off building the pod cast station, but the clubs on campus will be gaining $1,500 worth of tables for campus events.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee was also denied funding at the recommendation of finance committee.

The EEO requested $3,000 for outreach programs and advertisement in order to provide funding for programs that recruit faculty with diverse backgrounds.

“Student money should not go to fund something like this,” said Arakelyan. “AS funds should not necessarily be used because the project doesn’t involve students.”

The consensus amongst AS members was that ASGCC should not be involved with the hiring of faculty members, financially or otherwise.

The AS also approved $3,000 for a Student Outreach Event and $2,000 for a Statewide Student Senate Conference out of its unappropriated budget reserves.

If any funds remain after the distribution of funds for campus projects the AS can choose to contribute funds to other projects as long as they are completed within six months. All additional funds left in the fall semester’s CPS account will be transferred to the spring semester at which time it will either be appropriated or be placed in the ASGCC reserve account if not fully utilized.