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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Budget lists expenses from ASUU

By Chris Mumford

Although it was not former Student Body President Patrick Reimherr’s idea to expose his administration’s budget to scrutiny, those details are now available to any student with access to the Internet.

After a month’s delay, the Associated Students of the University of Utah’s budget is now online, listing not only current expenditures, but those of Reimherr’s administration also, including close to $900 spent to have Chartwells cater last year’s State of ASUU address.
The address typically draws a small, mostly ASUU-affiliated crowd, said ASUU Chief of Staff Ameena Khan.

“I know we don’t plan on spending that kind of money,” Khan said.
But what the administration does plan to spend funds on is more difficult to discern, as the only guide for identifying the new administration’s outlays is a disclaimer that says the previous administration is responsible for “certain” expenditures prior to July 1.

Expenditures reported since July 1 account for about 30 percent of the information available online.

One set of expenditures that the new administration is accountable for includes pens, highlighters, tubes of lip balm, T-shirts and other items ASUU representatives gave away at a variety of campus events meant to promote student government.

The administration has spent almost $9,000 to date on such promotional gear.
“It’s basically because that’s the best way to advertise ASUU,” said ASUU Vice President Rachel Rizzo.

Khan said pens and tubes of lip balm are used every day and are likely to remind students of opportunities to participate in ASUU boards and events, whereas flyers are usually thrown away. The gear is also used to attract students to the ASUU table at campus events.

“We’ve gotten a lot of people to sign our interest form that way,” Rizzo said.
Beyond the problems of matching expenditures to the right administration, the budget also uses ambiguous labels that could cause confusion. One $1,287.80 expenditure, listing “chief of staff” as its origin, is labeled “development” with no additional explanation.
Reimherr could not be reached for comment.
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