Restructuring the budget: ASCOCC allocates more student fees than ever before

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The 2012-2013 student council has $525,000 to allocate for next year’s budget, Taran Underdal, Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College advisor, stated at the council meeting on May 1.
“You have more student fees to allocate than you ever have before,” Underdal explained to council members.
Megan Cole, the director of fiscal operations for ASCOCC, has begun drafting a budget for 2013-2014.
“One of the biggest things that the budget committee and Alicia [Moore] has stressed to [the 2012-2013] council is that you need to come up with a structure of clubs and programs,” Underdal said. “Megan [Cole] has done a really good job at moving things around, some things that were recommendations from the budget committee and other things that I would highly encourage you to do.”
Underdal suggested the council distinguish programs such as the Latino program, Native American program, and The Broadside, “a school program,” into a separate fund from clubs, Underdal stated. Program events like the Salmon Bake and Cinco de Mayo would then be “co-sponsored” by ASCOCC.
“Rather than having the club actually sponsor it, student government actually sponsors it, facilitates it, rather than having it go through a middleman,” Underdal said, “…and then the clubs themselves can decide their level of participation.”

New criteria proposed for club funding
ASCOCC intends to roll out new funding criteria for clubs and student organizations, as discussed in the May 1 council meeting.
“We need to come up with a structure that is fair and equitable to them,” Underdal stated, “so there’s no discrepancy in any of this.”
Cole has drafted a tier model for club funding based on the number of club members.
“This is just me playing with the numbers, going off of how many people [and] how many events they will do a year,” Cole said.
For example, a new club with only four members may be allotted $500 of club funding and a more established club with six members may receive $750 of club funds.
“I want you to start thinking of this as a formula to make it really equitable,” Underdal advised, “so we’re not discriminating in areas and that funds are being spent really wisely.”
Council members will be surveying clubs to gather information they will then use to complete the new funding model.
Time is running out for budget planning.
Information on student organizations will need to be compiled within in the next two weeks, Underdal stressed, for the council to move forward with the budget and have it ready to submit at the first board meeting in July.
“Typically the ASCOCC budget is completed by May 1,” Underdal stated.
The budget must be approved by the ASCOCC budget committee and then by Moore, COCC’s dean of students. It can be a lengthy process, according to Underdal, because it can take up to six rounds of scrutiny.
“You’ve been through the bylaws,” Underdal said, “and know that that could take a while.”
If the five current council members do not approve a budget, then it will be up to the next student council to divvy up student fees for the 2013-2014 school year, and according to Underdal, the college really doesn’t have a preference on who creates the budget.
“It doesn’t matter to me, if you don’t do the budget, then the next council does the budget,” Underdal explained, “but my guess is that you guys probably would like to have influence on the budget.”

(Contact: aquesenberry@cocc.edu)

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