UCard office sees effects of legislative budget cuts

By By Jamie Bowen, Staff Writer

By Jamie Bowen, Staff Writer

As the economy has fallen into a state of recession, budget cuts from the Utah Legislature are starting to hit home for smaller departments such as UCard services at the U.

“Our state funding was cut,” said Lisa Arbon-Tagge, UCard director. “With the current budget cuts, we have already lost one position within our organization.”

Ryan Fletcher, administrative assistant for UCard, said that in mid-December, UCard was forced to make some cuts of its own by raising the price of replacement cards from $10 to $20.

“It stinks that the students have to shoulder that, but it is only replacement cards,” he said.

UCard pays for the first card for a student and will pay for a replacement card if the card is stolen and the student can show a valid police report, Fletcher said. But otherwise, students will have to pay the full $20 to get a new card.

Unfortunately, this is not the end to the budget cuts here at the U, said Paul Brinkman, associate vice president for budget and planning.

“No later than the first week of February we will know of more budget cuts,” Brinkman said.

Though the cuts are inevitable, some students are not pleased with how the U is making decisions to cut funding.

Chris Glochat, a sophomore in biomedical engineering, said budget cuts make being a student from out of state even harder, especially when trying to get residency.

“It seems there could have been a lot of things they could have cut out instead of education,” he said.

Brinkman said it is certainly possible for there to be more budget cuts coming in the near future, but it’s hard to predict what.

“What I can say is: A, there will be another big cut; B, it will be a big one; and C, someone could lose their job,” he said.

Although things such as cutting positions and raising costs are things that have to happen, it’s tough when it comes time to actually enforce them, Fletcher said.

“You hate to see someone lose their job over budget issues,” he said. “It’s tough to cut a department’s funding and have to go out and (determine) where to make it up.”

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