The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM and then followed by the reading of the land acknowledgment by Dakota Runyon-Trapp. Then the minutes were approved from the week before on 04/18/2023 barring any objections. There were some spelling changes to the minutes from 02/28, and then barring any objections the minutes were approved as amended.
The president’s update was short and since ASSOU President Alicia Gerrity was not there, senate speaker Keeley Reiners read for her that the ASSOU retreat to Emigrant Lake was that Saturday on the 29th, and the lobbying for more funds in Salem was on May 04, 2023.
The Cabinet reported that their hearing in Roseburg was last Friday and it went well. They had one speaker. Admin had updates on the stoles, which have been ordered for ASSOU members. Stoles are for people who have been in ASSOU for 2 or more years, 1 year constituents get cords. RHA was doing a spring cleaning event where students could donate clothes to the residential halls. ROTC shared that a couple of cadets were nominated for a cadet of the year for SOU.
Then they moved on to new business, which was approving the new SFAC budget forms for next year. They looked at a spreadsheet and ASSOU Vice President, Julissa Taitano explained the spreadsheet. They initially thought they would have to make about half a million dollars in decreases for allocations, but then ended up only having to make $12,000 in decreases. Julissa explained some of the major changes to the budget:
There were some indexes that zeroed out because they did not send in a Form 1, one of which was SOU’s LGBT organization and the committee decided to zero out Legal Services. The final zero out was the mentor program.
There was a request for a comparison table, where Julissa explained there was a comparison on the table. The decreases were explained as clubs maybe not getting as much as they asked for rather than actual decreases.
There was a question about what legal services were and how to explain to students why they were cut. The committee explained that there were free options elsewhere and that the money was going to be better used for other things.
There was a question about the bus passes and asking whether students would be paying more for their bus passes, and then it was explained that they would just be more specific in figuring out who gets bus passes, with most having only students get them rather than the community.
The main topic of conversation started when this question was asked: “What is the reason for sports clubs getting $5,000 more than they requested?”
It was explained that the sports clubs had a rough beginning of the year where they were moved around a lot when it came to who they were under. They requested the bare minimum for what was needed and most of the money was going to contracts, for example, the rowing clubs contract with the lake. They wanted to give some money so the clubs could get themselves going and actually buy equipment.
There was a question as to why they got more money than they requested while some clubs didn’t get the money they requested. It was explained that other clubs are different and get their money from elsewhere. Since sports clubs need money for contracts, they need more money for their basic things.
They reallocated the money based on how much money was decreased or increased when compared to the money they used versus the money they requested the year before. Some clubs requested a $2,000 increase and got only a $1,000 increase or no increase from what they got and it looks like there is a major decrease, but really they are just staying at the same level.
The main question that was brought up again was that sports clubs didn’t request the extra $5,000, they just got the money which could have gone to other clubs. The explanation was that since there are many club sports, it was given more to help all of the clubs within the sports club. It was asked if the SFAC was asked to do that. They explained that they submitted the forms before the realignment plan was set, so they realized that sports were hit and they would need more money.
There was a question away from sports that asked why some of the decreases were more than others, some clubs decreased by $2,000, while others just under $1,000, and some got their full request. The explanation was that they looked at the amount that was used compared to the amount requested and went from there. It is all based on Form 1.
The comment was raised that a lot of the students at SOU are unhappy with where money is going at SOU. They see with sports getting this much money that SOU is trying to be more sporty, and the students don’t necessarily feel that way. Students are frustrated over how ASSOU budgets things and wish they were given more money for things they care more about. The idea is that clubs who requested more money and didn’t get it would be frustrated because sports clubs did not request that money.
Another issue arose when it was added that students will take issue with this because of the way it looks to them. It looks like ASSOU is favoring sports and SJEC because they got significant increases while other clubs did not. They explained that they were very careful in making these decisions, having other people come in to help, looking at previous spending, and form 1s.
They then went into specifics about where the money goes when it comes to sports clubs. It was explained how much was spent to reserve the lake, how much was needed for the person who oversees the clubs, so much of the money goes to paying the pro staff. The extra money was to help the clubs get equipment. But, since that position is going to be absorbed into athletics, the money will go directly to the clubs for travel, equipment, and other things. They expect more sports clubs next year, so more money was added.
They did not have enough people to vote since SFAC has to abstain so the vote will happen at a later date and results will be reported as soon as possible.
Kudos was given and the meeting was adjourned at 6:53 PM.