Letter From the Editors: Budget Cuts to be Brought Before Senate

Featured photo of co-editors Emiliana Rawley and Autumn Micketti taken by Denis Baratta with the Mail Tribune

Updated Feb. 20 12 p.m. PST

ASHLAND – On Feb. 12, the Student Fee Allocation Committee made budget allocation decisions. The Siskiyou requested $3,897 to fund our operating costs for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The Committee allocated us $0.

The minutes for the meeting have been released, click here to read. SOU student Sarah Grulikowski, Student Fee Budget Committee Chair and ASSOU Director of Finance and Administration, explained one of the reasons why budget cuts were made. “The Student Fee is currently in a deficit which requires us to allocate money towards paying that off. Additionally, cost of living expenses and increasing requests mean that we often have a higher amount of requests than funding available,” Grulikowski said.

The Siskiyou co-editors spoke at the Feb. 18 Student Fee Budget Committee meeting and public hearing. We live tweeted the event on our Twitter. Leaders from other programs who have experienced budget cuts spoke at this hearing. Resource centers, the national student exchange, cheerleading and dance, club board of directors, and the Outdoor Program and Climbing center were represented.

At the end of this meeting, SOU’s athletic director Matt Sayre offered to reallocate $1,500 of Athletic’s allocated budget to The Siskiyou. We submitted our appeal letter, along with statements of support, this morning. To read the letter, click here. The appeal letter provides more context for how The Siskiyou operates, how many students are involved, and our value to the community.

We have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support from alum, students, faculty, and community members. We sincerely thank every individual and organization that has supported our paper through this process. Thank you emails and letters will be sent within a week.

The Student Fee Allocation Committee and Student Fee Budget Committee are made of SOU students who set and allocate the student fees that enrolled students are charged. Student fees pay for student life programming. Some examples of the programs that are funded through this process are Resource Centers, Athletics, RVTD student bus passes, and OSPIRG.

Although the student fee has been increased this year, cuts had to be made. SOU’s Bike Program and National Student Exchange program are the other two programs allocated $0.

Before the budget decisions go to ASSOU Senate, there is a SFBC meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Stevenson Union Senate Chambers. This meeting will serve as a way to hear out any concerns students have about SFAC’s allocations. The Siskiyou reserved 5 minutes to speak at this forum and defend why we deserve funds.

To reverse SFAC’s budget decisions, SOU students are encouraged to email their ASSOU senators. The Siskiyou co-editors Autumn Micketti and Emiliana Rawley are writing an appeal letter to send to the SFAC before Thursday. All letters of support from SOU students and our audience will be attached to this letter, and should be sent to micketta1@sou.edu and rawleye@sou.edu.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information arises.

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