Student Gov. making fees more sustainable

A new sustainability plan will be made for the portion of student fees that cover the Associated Students of CSU to ensure that increased programming does not mean increased fees, according to Wendy Bowling, ASCSU’s director of finance.

Bowling said there will be a fee sustainability task force created in order to combat some disparities with the current fee, which is set at $35.92 for a full-time, on-campus student.

“Right now the ASCSU fee for the summer semester is set higher than it is during the fall, which doesn’t make sense,” Bowling said. “This will help us fix some of those cases and in this case we want the summer fee to eventually be 75 percent of the current full-time fall fee.”

About seven fee areas are currently experiencing similar problems, according to Bowling.

This new taskforce will also help future administrations of ASCSU to better configure their budgets after they are elected and also ensure that all of their new ideas can be implemented.

“Every new administration has new ideas and new programs they want to implement, but the problem is that when they are elected there is only about a four day turn-around in which they can prepare the budget for the next year and present it,” Bowling said. “This new set-up will hopefully prevent that from happening.”

Bowling added that this would provide the framework for the budget that the new administration would prepare and present to SFRB and hopefully alleviate some stress and confusion caused by the quick deadline.

“There are certain obligations that we can’t change from year to year because they are on a contract, and the rest we can kind of assume won’t change, such as RamRide,” Bowling said. “Most of how we can plan for these things ahead of time comes from looking at past budgets, and another part of it comes from student feedback.”

After this loosely constructed budget is formulated, the new administration will use those four days to polish the budget and tailor it to their liking, rather than having to create it from scratch.

“This will give the opportunity for the most preparation possible,” said Regina Martel, ASCSU president. “We were set up well to begin with when we were elected, but making sure that they have this skeleton to work off and then the next administration will be able to change it to their liking.”

The results from a student survey that will be sent out later this month will be used to help the new taskforce better create the framework of the budget for next year.

“We really want this to increase the ability of administrations to add revenue without cutting things,” Bowling said. “But we also want to be able to see changes we can make in order to add new and better programs.”

ASCSU Beat Reporter Carrie Mobley can be reached at news@collegian.com.