For the first time ever, CCSGA Executive Council is setting aside $30,000 as discretionary funds to be divided between the student body president and the four executive vice-presidents.
In a Budget Committee meeting on Oct. 30, CCSGA financial vice-president Alejandro Salazar and college vice-president for finance and administration Robert Moore looked at a breakdown of the student activities budget that totaled around $400,000, half of what the budget is supposed to amount to.
As The Catalyst reported last month, the “missing” $400,000 was eventually found.
Contrary to the knowledge of those in charge of the student activities fee, including Salazar, Moore, and Dean Mike Edmonds, the previous CCSGA financial vice-president, Stanley Sigalov, had passed a proposal that transferred some of the student activities budget’s financial responsibilities to the tuition budget.
The proposal had passed, but the numbers didn’t indicate that the money had transferred. On Nov. 4, Moore found the correct breakdown of the budget and realized there was another $171,000 that had yet to be allocated to a specific cause.
The newly allotted discretionary funds came from this newfound $171,000.
The $171,000 was divvied up between Cutler Publications (approximately $47 thousand), club sports ($5,000), hockey game buses ($6,000), the Center for Service and Learning ($1,590), “contingency” (approximately $10,000), and approximately $90,000 for CCSGA.
Of the approximately $90,000 CCSGA re-attained, roughly $60,000 will be distributed for special events, $5,000 of which are for a new-student program. The remaining $30,000 represents the discretionary funds.
While CCSGA does have a special events funding account — which controversially funded $12,322 for PlayHard Production’s Ice Age last block — student leaders hope the new discretionary funds can finance what that pot of money cannot.
The discretionary funds mark an unprecedented allocation of student activities fee money, mirroring the discretionary fund accounts held by many CC deans and President Jill Tiefenthaler.
The program is Salazar’s brainchild, and he hopes that the money will fund initiatives that the old system did not allow for.
“We literally have no money for initiatives,” he said.
However, Salazar said, “Thirty grand was fairly arbitrary.”
Though it is something he has wanted to do for a while, if not for the “extra money” — the newfound $170,000 — Salazar doesn’t think they would be starting the program.
CCSGA president Isaac Green will receive $10,000, and the four executive vice presidents will each be given $5,000.
Green receives double that of any vice-president because, Salazar said, “I feel the president should direct major initiatives.”
Green says does not have any specific initiatives in mind for his funds at the moment.
“I like to think of the ‘discretionary funds’ as committee funds. Mine can be used for student initiatives, larger CCSGA goals, and helping to fund the other committees’ needs as they come up,” he told The Catalyst.
The funds are intended for student benefit.
“You can’t use it for anything other than an initiative,” said Salazar. They’re not going to “buy food for CCSGA meetings,” he added.
Salazar plans to use his $5,000 to bring more nightly events to campus.
At least a portion of his $5,000 is going towards a potential King Duck, a student band, concert on Dec. 17 in Cornerstone, he said. The concert will have free food.
Any activity with the funds still has to be approved by the Finance Committee, but it’s “much looser,” said Salazar.
Vice president for student concerns, junior Emily Spiegel, plans to use her $5,000 for efforts addressing mental health among students, according to Salazar.
Whiteboard notes from one of Spiegel’s brainstorm sessions include as potential uses of her funds: $500 for CC Fridays, $200 for Take Back The Night, $300 for a “Worner Ball Pit,” and $100 for “t-shirts” among other possible causes.
Spiegel has directed half of her share of the funds towards initiatives for the rest of the year, including: “mental health, winter start orientation, and strengthening student government relationships with OMIS.”
“The rest of my funds will be allocated towards student groups and initiatives as needed” Spiegel said.
Vice-president for outreach, senior Allison Weibel, hopes to use her $5,000 for projects, initiatives, and events in the greater Colorado Springs community.
In addition, some of Weibel’s funds will support the Indy Give! event on Dec. 12; “the funds will provide a thank-you dinner to students who donate $20 or more to local non-profits,” said Weibel.
Vice president for internal affairs, sophomore Jacob Walden, said he is “planning to use the funds to host an event for students on campus to learn about the ongoing initiatives CCSGA has been working on this year and host a discussion on initiatives for the end of the year and next year.”
The meeting is planned for the end of February.
The council also hopes to hear proposals from students on how best to distribute the funds.