October 26, 2001

To Finance SAFC Clerk, S.A. Ups Its Own Budget

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Student Assembly representatives continued to discuss and allocate funds to student organizations via the student activity fee at yesterday’s S.A. meeting. Among the organizations that were considered for funding was the S.A. itself.

From the student activity fee (S.A.F.), the S.A. will receive $2.45 per student, a 10-cent increase intended to help offset some of the administration expenses of the Student Assembly Finance Commission (SAFC) by hiring a clerk. The SAFC allocates funds to organizations not specifically covered by the S.A.F.

Representatives discussed the S.A. surplus of funds they already have and the need for a small increase.

“The anticipated increases show inflation and rising costs,” said Michael Moschella ’02, vice president of finance. “If they [SAFC] were denied a clerk, it would be damaging.”

Moschella explained that the surplus is due to past Student Assemblies not spending all of their allocated funds. The money is used for such things as copying materials and advertising events.

Some members voiced opinions that the S.A. should reduce its own operating costs instead of increasing their funds.

“I think that we should be the first ones to cut our budgets. I would rather cut those amenities than ask another group to cut them,” said Joshua Roth ’03, Arts and Sciences representative.

Other members said that the S.A. should use its surplus to fund more student activities and to continue with its objectives.

“The S.A. has been successful with the things it’s done and it’s been able to do this because of its resources,” said Noah Doyle ’03, undesignated representative.

Members also voted to allocate $2.30 per student to the community centers, including Noyes Community Center, Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC) and the new Community Commons. Noyes and RPCC will split $1.80 per student for activities while the Community Commons will receive 50 cents per student.

“I think 50 cents is an okay allocation,” said Ari Epstein ’04, CALS representative. “There are more people living on North Campus than before.”

Other S.A. members were concerned about the possible overlap of activities at RPCC and the Community Commons since they are in close proximity.

“I would like to see the centers get money, but the two centers have a lot of overlap,” said Mark Greenbaum ’02, executive vice president.

There was discussion of lowering the Community Commons allotment to 30 cents per student, but the change was not made.

“I think that we need to give the Commons some slack for being new,” said Josh Bronstein ’05, new student representative.

Other members believe that the Community Commons needs funding to promote activities, since there was a concern about the attendance levels at RPCC and Community Commons events.

“We have to make sure they have a funding base to make them more well-attended,” Moschella said.

Funding was also approved for the Cornell University Emergency Medical Service (CUEMS). The Medical Service will receive $3.55 per student, money that will help to buy a new ambulance and possibly expand to a 24-hour service, although members commented on the appropriateness of the S.A. funding for the service.

“I think that it’s a shame the S.A. has to pay for this — the administration should,” Roth said. “This is a vital service.”

There were suggestions that the S.A. suspend or decrease funding to make a statement to the University about who should pay the CUEMS operating costs, but no changes were made.

“Pulling money will only hurt the CUEMS. They are one of the most diligent groups in reporting their budgets to the S.A.,” Epstein said. “It’s nice to have a service that comes to you in a minute rather than 10 minutes [if a student is having medical difficulties].”

Owning an ambulance will also help the student organization to educate its members about the use of the vehicle since it now operates out of customized vans. There are also possible problems with the University funding a student organization such as the CUEMS. In addition, the group appreciates its independence from University funding.

The International Students Programming Board will receive $1.26 per student via the S.A.F., but amid the debate over the ISPB concerns arose regarding a past speaker who raised the ire of some representatives. Before this allocation passed, those representatives, including Epstein and Darren Rumack ’04, new student representative, sought to block the approval — but ultimately to no avail.

In addition, Student Insurance was approved for $3.45 per student and Community Partnership will receive $1.00 per student.

Archived article by Kelly Samuels