ASUAF spends savings for student travel and clubs
The student government has decided to run a deficit this year, spending down savings accounts in order to divert funds to student travel and clubs, according to the group’s president.
“In the past few years, the plan was to actually use deficit spending because we wanted to spend that extra money down and give it back to students,” Colby Freel, ASUAF president, said.
The savings accounts being spent are made up of revenue from previous school years, so the extra expenditure is covered, Freel clarified.
The rollover funds have been spent down from about $250,000 to approximately $80,000 belonging to all the governance groups, with $34,000 of that allocated to ASUAF itself.
The student government has budgeted to pull $61,000 from rollover this year.
“The intent was that we would put $30,000 in travel money and $30,000 in club funding from rollover for the year,” Freel said. “The idea behind it was that because this money had been built up by students over years it needed to go back to students and those are two areas that directly affect students.”
Students will be able to apply for club and travel funding through ASUAF.
The ASUAF budget funds KSUA 91.5FM, Concert Board, the Sun Star and student government. KSUA, Concert Board and the Sun Star all have their own rollover they pull from, Freel said.
“The rollover is complicated,” Freel said. “In our internal budget, we don’t account for that. So that’s just money left over as it’s filled up over years. We’ve been pulling out of it for several years now.”
ASUAF’s budgeted revenue for this year is $567,342 according to Freel. The student government has budgeted $265,837 in expenditures this fiscal year. That includes the $61,000 from rollover, Freel said.
Enrollment is lower this academic year than expected, bringing in less funding in the form of student fees. Enrollment was expected to be around 12,000. However, the numbers are closer to 11,000.
While Matthew Carrick was still president of ASUAF, changes to the student fee passed to UA President Jim Johnsen for approval, Freel said. These changes would not affect UAF students but would drop the student fee for CTC students taking three or more credits from $42 per semester to $5 per semester. These changes were supposed to have already gone into effect.
“As soon as I took office, I sent a memo through the chancellor to the president. I thought at that point that the fee would be changed,” Freel said. “We thought we had solved it. We hadn’t heard back from the president in months and then we heard that it hadn’t really left the chancellor’s desk, it was just sitting there. So, at that point it was not soon enough for the bursar’s office to assess the fee appropriately.”
The fee remains the same at $42 per student per semester this fall. The changes to the CTC student fee should go into effect next semester according to the chancellor, Freel said.
Each student governance group is guaranteed a certain percent of the student fee revenue. KSUA gets 28 percent. Concert Board gets 17 percent and the Sun Star receives 12 percent, according to Freel.
Revenue is split into three streams. These are comprised of rollover from past years, student fee revenue and ad revenue from the Sun Star, Freel said.
“Because our fee revenue is declining, we’re getting close to a budget cliff,” Freel said. “It’s not an emergency yet, but if we don’t take notes from the state legislature and start planning now we’re going to be in trouble later.”