Long Beach State’s Associated Students, Inc. anticipates a 2% enrollment decrease for the 2021-22 academic year as it plans to rehire student assistants based on its consolidated operating budgets amounting to over $23 million.
Presented by ASI Executive Director Miles Nevin, along with ASI Treasurer Adriana Andrade, ASI’s operation budget is predicted to total over $16 million for the University Student Union and Student Recreation and Wellness Center fund and over $6 million for the Associated Students fund.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many student employees were laid off and remained unfilled.
According to Nevin, 39% of the USU and SWRC total budget will be used to rehire students and meet the minimum wage increase to $15 by Jan. 1, 2022.
“This is something that is very healthy, something we’re very proud of, and that’s a percentage we want to maintain. We continue to rehire student assistants as we reopen and as we repopulate,” Nevin said.
Andrade also mentioned that out of the AS budget, 52% will go directly to student programs and services, including Isabel Patterson Child Development Center, 22 West Media and Beach Pride Events.
“This is important because of how many students we hire,” Andrade said. “It’s very unique in the way that we manage those funds…We didn’t put funds into those last year due to COVID.”
In addition, the 2021-22 projections foresee a 2% decrease in enrollment compared to a 1% increase seen in 2020-2. Despite ASI experiencing a deficit, Nevin remains “optimistic,” stating that he anticipates the following years will go back to operating with a “healthy budget.”
During the meeting, Sen. Jubilee Munozvilla raised concerns about budget cuts to let students have reduced tuition or graduation fees.
Nevin said that although ASI does have control over student union fees and mandatory fees, which have remained the same price since last year, these costs go toward salaries and other payments.
“We have to meet our bondholder or mortgage payment obligations on our facilities, our full-time staff who are in career positions, so on and so forth,” he said.
Nevin mentioned that ASI had been “entertaining” the idea of issuing refunds in the form of discounts to students who didn’t use the rec center but were paying for it.
“So those are the kinds of things we’re looking at, but it would be unrealistic for us to do large-scale refunds,” Nevin said.
Andrade added that ASI is currently working on offering a $5,000 scholarship for undocumented students from the AS budget.
“Exactly how they will be used have not been outlined, but I did want to give a shoutout to the senators that advocated on that item, and I think it’s a great way for us to continue to support this community,” Andrade said.
Associated Students, Inc. Senate meets via Zoom each Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.