The Associated Student Body budgeted over $400,000 for activities, events and other services this year. This included everything from silent dances to complaint dinners, all of which came directly from the current ASB Board of Directors. Due to the amount of moving parts and unsettled accounts, ASB said it was unable to provide specific totals on money spent to date.
The breakdown of spending occurs in two major categories: ASB allocation of funds to Media Board (included within the service awards), collectively made up of The Point, Point T.V., Point Radio, Driftwood and The Mariner, and ASB spending within the ASB Board of Directors. Within these two categories, there are over 30 subcategories of funding that is used to pay for everything from replacement staplers to expenses at the Sunset Ceremony at graduation.
The current ASB Director of Finance, Matt Herskowitz, managed ASB’s funds this year.
“We’ve focused on really increasing ASB’s impact around campus and reaching out to other areas on campus like commuter, Public Safety and Ryan Library,” said Herskowitz.
The most recent changing in funding involves the Media Board. Of all the Media Board members in the 2014-2015 school year, The Point starts with the most generous budget, beginning the year with over $20,000. ASB contributes $5,000 to that overall figure. These funds are largely spent on printing which runs anywhere from about $830 to $1,030 depending on color and length per issue.
The rest of Media Board spends about $6,500 combined. mcKensey Wise, in an email sent to all Media Board directors Friday, explained that ASB was planning on pulling back from their monetary involvement with Media Board.
“Rather than ASB allocating specific budgets to Media Board each fall, the school will separate $40,000 from the general fees before it ever reaches ASB’s budget and allocate it to the Media Board for each department to distribute to each Media Board branch’s needs,” said Wise in the email.
Collectively, ASB budgets the rest of their funds into five main categories: activities, clubs, Fair Trade fund, service awards and special projects.
Activities include everything under the jurisdiction of the current ASB Director of Activities and Design, Samantha Watkins, like Skate Night and PLNU’s Fashion Show.
This year ASB allotted the most toward the Welcome Back week fall semester, the Christmas tree lighting and the Fashion Show.
“The Christmas tree lighting had a lot to do with getting the materials because it was the first year we’ve had it,” said Watkins. “Each year it will get successively less because now we have the basic materials to dress a 20-foot tree.”
Because the Fashion Show is one of the most attended events on campus, it also has a large allocation of money, said Watkins.
“I try to keep [events] around $2,000 [so] it’s pretty evenly spaced out,” said Watkins.
The 55 clubs on campus were given a budget of $60,000 with $20,000 in reserves. Hui O’ Hawaii uses part of these funds to put on their annual luau, but this category also includes Point Loma Opera Theater (PLOT) which is allocated $5,000 and the Surf Club, allocated $4,500 which are the two biggest spenders out of the 55.
The $20,000 in reserve refers to money that the clubs can dip into in case an event costs more than previously budgeted. So far over $12,500 has been spent out of this fund. The average of the allocations to each club comes out to $1,163.
The reexamination of club funding began before the beginning of the year when ASB Director of Student Relations Nate Guajardo had a one-on-one meeting with each club president to discuss budgeting. Guajardo’s goal was to include club presidents in as much of the conversation about budgets as possible.
“In the past, clubs have been severely underfunded,” said Guajardo. “So during NSO [New Student Orientation], I had every club president come in and meet with me and go over their budgets whether it was $200 or $6,000.”
Next, Guajardo began streamlining the process for club funding. Instead of going through Student Senate, clubs now deal more directly with student relations.
“The system for getting more funding [now] is much faster and more efficient,” said Guajardo.
The Fair Trade fund covers the costs of bringing fair trade items on campus. Over $14,000 was budgeted for the Fair Trade fund, but only $3,000 was used this year. The unused funds leftover in the Fair Trade budget will lead to a reevaluation of spending in this area in the coming months.
Service awards and special funds are among the top two largest sums of budgeted funds making up nearly half of all ASB budgeted funds.
Service awards include paying the Campus Activities Board, paying stipends to editors and staffers on Media Board, paying hourly student employees, paying the ASB Board of Directors and paying those on Student Senate. Stipends to editors and the ASB Board of Directors cover total $4,800 per semester.
Special funds acts as a catch fall for any miscellaneous expenditures that ASB has to pay for like board initiatives. In total there have been 10 initiatives that have passed through the board’s hands including cameras.