Budget cuts into club funding

Photo credit: Molly Putman

ASUAF has not been immune to the current budget shortfalls. The student government has, in years past, been a substantial source of funding and support for the various clubs and organizations around UAF. In the current economic climate of the university, senators find themselves in a hard position.

In fiscal year 2017, the Club Committee grants and projects budget totaled $30,000. In the current fiscal year, that number has been reduced to $7,100. This is a large cut, and the effects of which are still unknown. The summer senate set about trying to mitigate the damage.

In early August, senator Samuel Mitchell, and former senator Georgia Durden introduced a bill that would take from the $1,000 contingency budget of the summer senate and allocate $800 to supplement the Club Committee. The office of the Vice President also had its contingency budget reduced from $750 to zero for fiscal year 2018. The bill introduced by Mitchell and Durden supplemented this budget as well, on the order of $200 from the summer senate. Public Relations Director Melissa Clark urged senators to reach out to these affected clubs.

“We need to have senators assigned to specific clubs, to go once a semester, and just ask the clubs, is there anything that we [ASUAF] can do for you? How can we [ASUAF] help you as a student government?” Clark said.

Summer Senate passed a resolution, targeted at Faculty Senate, on May 26 regarding student bereavement leave. Senators Durden and Mitchell, along with Sierra Van Hafften and Daniel Dougherty, sponsored the resolution. In it they sight Actively Moving Forward, a national non-profit organization, who state that, 8.6 percent of college students, have lost a loved one or close friend within the past year. Because of this, they urged the UAF Faculty Senate to consider allowing a two-week grace period for affected students. Student Regent, Joey Sweet of UAA, heard of the resolution and is hoping similar resolutions can be implemented at the other campuses.

“Bereavement is such a good idea that I don’t think there’s really any reason such policy doesn’t already exist,” Sweet said. “It’s probably just an oversight and so I’m trying to push it more.”

If Faculty Senate at UAF passes such legislation it could serve to help an estimated 747 UAF students who may have seen their academic performance drop, because of a tragic loss.

Attendance

Present: Esau Sinnok, Raven Palmer, Chris Martinez, Sierra Van Hofften, David Ambrose, Daniel Dougherty, Benjamin Boswell, Raymundo Lopez, Samuel Mitchell

Absent: N/A

Excused: N/A

Matt Mertes

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