Proposed ASUU budget would fund KUTE

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

The ASUU General Assembly will vote tonight on a proposed $1.4-million student government budget for the 2008-2009 school year, which includes a reinstatement of funding for the student radio station KUTE and a number of amendments made by the Senate April 17.

The Senate approved $15,000 for the Student Broadcast Council, and with the Assembly’s approval, the Associated Students of the University of Utah will reverse the two-year-long suspension on funding and once again allocate the $15,000 to the council as stipulated by RedBook, the student constitution.

“KUTE has a change in leadership and vision,” ASUU President-elect Patrick Reimherr said. “It’s not just student radio anymore-they’re trying to adapt to our campus and how we communicate.”

The rest of the ASUU budget created by the new administration doesn’t differ greatly from the 2007-2008 budget, but Senate leaders voted to move money around in a number of boards.

The Senate amended the budget to decrease the money given to student groups through the ASUU finance board budgeting processes as well as cut funds for the Rock the U dance marathon, the attorney general budget and courtesy phones.

Reimherr said some of the amendments might be justified, but he does not agree with decreases in funding for executive cabinet boards.

If the amendments pass in the Assembly, both the finance board and Rock the U would transfer $5,000 to the Senate contingency, which is used to fund academic student groups and student advisory committees. The proposed budget already increases Senate funds by more than $9,000, but Humanities Sen. Liz Clark said this isn’t enough because they had to transfer $40,000 from the ASUU general reserve this year to meet funding demands.

“With the requests going up, we should consider moving the Senate contingency up with the Assembly,” Clark said.

The General Assembly has a budget of more than $96,000 for student groups.

Reimherr said some student groups would rather go through the budgeting processes in the fall and spring. Although he thinks the legislative branches deserve more money, he said he would prefer that it comes from the general reserve.

The budget also proposed a $5,000 decrease in funding for the Rock the U dance marathon, which received $25,000 for the 2008 event. Reimherr said Rock the U used about $20,000 this year, and the amount he budgeted was a balance between the past two administrations’ funding for the event.

Some senators argued that Rock the U should not get as much funding because it was not as successful this year, bringing in about $20,000 less than the previous dance marathon and because it has the ability to get corporate sponsors. Some senators said Rock the U is similar to Crimson Nights and therefore shouldn’t get more money than it costs to put on a Crimson Nights-$15,000.

“It’s a great thing, but it didn’t do as well this year as anticipated,” Education Sen. Jennifer Buhler said. “But a large chunk of money is still going to it.”

Reimherr said programs such as Rock the U take a few years to catch on, and you can’t measure success when there is only data from two events, unlike the monthly Crimson Nights, which are held each year.

Because Rock the U is more educational and service-oriented, raising money for cancer research, it has a different purpose than Crimson Nights, he said, and although it can get corporate funding, these donations don’t usually go to operations.

The Senate also amended the attorney general’s budget to decrease from $450 to $100, which is how much the position had been given in the past. Reimherr said he instead wanted to increase the budget by $350 to give the board an associate director to examine the ASUU elections process.

Academic Affairs Board Director Katie Miller said the attorney general this year used $3 of his allotted $100 and suggested the money be put toward Freshman Council to increase freshman participation in ASUU.

“Even if they have an (associate director), there’s not enough work for two people,” Miller said.

The Senate amended the budget to decrease money for courtesy phones by $3,250 because most students use cell phones instead of these phones. The Senate proposed that this money be transferred to the senior class. ASUU has 64 courtesy phones across campus. With the 25-percent budget cut, they would eliminate about 16 phones.

Reimherr budgeted less to the senior class because he said Senior Class President Nicole Nguyen didn’t use all of the funds this year.

He said the courtesy phone budget cut is justified, but he wished they would have waited before taking action.

“Without 100 percent of the information there, I’m not sure it was the best thing to move around money in the executive cabinet without an exact report,” Reimherr said.

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