Students react to possible Student Involvement budget cuts

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Kylie Cameron

Student's fill the gallery of student fee deliberations on Friday, Feb. 28. On the first day of deliberations, a proposed $174,000 cut Student Involvement's request was made.

With student fees deliberations in full swing, the Student Involvement office’s funding request is currently coming under scrutiny.

Friday was originally supposed to be the last day of deliberations, but the Student Involvement budget was tabled due to confusion over what exactly the office’s proposed increase would be funding.

Student Involvement requested $1,017,515 for FY2021 — a $65,515 increase from this year — but Rep. Walter Wright recommended cutting the office’s budget to $897,125, citing it as one of the fastest growing budgets of any organization.

Wright’s suggested $897,125 comes from Student Involvement’s FY16 budget, plus $20,000.

“I looked at the total percentages that the budget has changed in FY15, and then I looked at the total change in the SI budget since FY15,” Wright said. “It was a 20% increase, so I went back to FY16 because that’s very much in line with the total overall student fee budget’s since that time.”

Students Promise Asher and Lindsey Schutte day Student Involvement has been a great asset to them.

“Last semester, I joined Greek life and I was obviously involved, but I didn’t feel like I really had that much going on,” Asher said. “But now that I’m involved in a lot more and I’ve met a lot of people being in the SI office and using this space . . . I feel like it just made me feel a lot more connected to people.”

Schutte concurred.

“Student involvement has really opened up a lot of doors for me,” she said. “It’s kind of like a domino effect. You get involved in one thing and then all of a sudden, you’re realizing all these different opportunities you either weren’t aware of or you just really didn’t think you’d be partaking in. It’s a really encouraging atmosphere for me.”

Asher and Schutte said they have high hopes that the budget that the committee passes will accurately take into account all sides of the student experience.

“I respect that I don’t know each side of the story, but I hope that they can just take how it’s affecting students into consideration more than just financially,” Asher said. 

“I just hope that by tabling, they’re really giving every party and every side a chance to provide the information needed so they can give the best decision for all students,” Shutte said. “Student Involvement really does outreach to everybody and it is for everybody, so I hope they keep that in mind with their decision.”

The Student Fees Committee is currently waiting on a more detailed budget request from Student Involvement. During deliberations, the office’s four-page budget request was compared to longer budget requests from organizations that reach fewer students such as Mikrokosmo’s Literary Journal’s eight-page request. Mikrokosmo’s request was for $3,675.