Campus, News

ASI Senate examines $18 million dollar budget

Associated Students Inc. Senate began its review of the organization’s $18 million proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, during Wednesday’s meeting.

The budget covers every facet of ASI including the University Student Union and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, as well as covering benefits and salaries for employees.

The 50 plus page document is broken up into smaller subsections to be reviewed by individual senators. The proposals are itemized into budget requests for things such as office supplies and the ASI Big Event.

ASI Executive Director Richard Haller introduced the budget and instructed the senate on how to view it.

“It’s a complex document with a lot of information,” Haller said. “This is an over $18 million budget… There are no less than 21 separate budget areas that we will reviewing.”

Haller explained that by splitting up the workload, each senator would tackle a comparatively small portion of the budget.

During his explanation, Haller asked if any senate members had experience with budgets..

“Do I have any accountants in here?” Haller said. He was greeted by silence. “Finance majors?” he inquired. When no one responded Haller laughed.

He explained the budget is based on fund accounting, the idea that profits in a certain area are funneled back into that area, rather than intermingling finances.

Following his explanation, ASI Vice President Leen Almahdi doled out the assignments and discussed the logistics of tackling a budget this complicated.

“The reason why we split it up into departments is because it was so long,” Almahdi said. “One thing that we are looking for is thoroughly diving through each department… so we can catch anything that is wonky.”

Each senator will examine their section, make proposals and ultimately vote on alterations to the budget to get it approved.

Sen. Aaron Jordan is in charge of the budget for Beach Pride Events, which included events such as the ASI Big Event, headlined by Daniel Caesar last month. Jordan mentioned Beach Pride Events may have a hand in graduation, something Jordan has taken a major interest in.

“Graduation… I always think that that’s something that can be made more special,” Jordan said, citing last year’s location changes as an issue important to students.

Jordan had specific ideas for improving the ceremony, suggesting fireworks as a way to spice up proceedings. He mentioned that because graduation affects every student, it is a priority for him to make it the best it can be.

“Every student will get to experience it, unlike say, some students were unable to go to the Daniel Caesar concert,” he said.

The next ASI Senate meeting will be held May 1 at 3:30 p.m. in USU 234.

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