Campaign promise of lump sum hidden within ASUU executive budget

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

The ASUU’s top priority is to put money into the hands of students in ways that will best benefit the U campus as a whole, ASUU Vice President Toby Collett said.

During ASUU elections last spring, President Jake Kirkham’s and Collett’s BLOC Party campaigned by saying it would decrease the amount of money budgeted to boards within the ASUU executive cabinet, and would instead use that money to create a lump sum of funds that could be utilized by student groups.

While this lump sum has not been formally earmarked in the 2006-2007 ASUU budget, the money is included in the executive branch funds, which contain close to $570,000.

About $340,000 of these funds is being used by the Presenters’ Office, leaving about $225,000 to executive projects.

Collett said, “Part of our campaign was to increase collaboration between student groups. We never really set aside a numeric value to put away (for the lump sum), but we have so much money to work with, we will allocate it based on demands and requests.”

During the United Leadership Conference last summer, leaders from student groups came together to discuss important issues, including the lump sum.

At this conference, which will meet again in October, it was explained that student groups could petition the ASUU for money from the executive branch budget. The executive branch would then discuss if the project was something they would want to support and money would be distributed based on needs and the project’s ability to benefit the U campus.

In previous years, cabinet directors used money from the executive budget. Now, the money can be used to sponsor groups whose budgets decreased, spending money within the executive branch instead of outside of it.

ASUU press spokesman Cameron Beech said that plans regarding when to earmark the lump sum in the budget are now being discussed. Currently, no student groups have received money from these funds.

“This is something that will evolve over the years,” Collett said. “It’s a first-year effort.”

For the 2006-2007 ASUU budget, money allocated toward student organizations has increased $19,000, bringing the budget for student funds to $259,000.

In order to receive funding, registered student groups can fill out applications to ASUU, detailing the events and programs that need funding, the number of people involved and how they will benefit the U. Five ASUU board members process these applications.

While the fall application period has been closed, ASUU will begin receiving applications again during the Spring Semester.

ASUU finance director Kacey Kalian said that funding for 130 applications for the fall are now being decided and that rewards will be posted on the ASUU Web site soon.