Thousands of dollars from next year’s student fees were divvied up when the ASWC Senate passed the 2011-12 ASWC budget in their meeting on Sunday, April 17.
Though the decrease in the ASWC student fee from 320 to 316 dollars per person could potentially have strained the budget, ASWC was also budgeting with an increase of 15 students, and thus another 4,740 dollars. Overall the decrease in budget was small: it went from close to 485,000 dollars to 470,840 dollars.
Members of ASWC are still pleased with their decision to decrease the student fund. As junior Fritz Siegert, finance chair elect, pointed out, it did not cause problems.
“It didn’t affect the budget tremendously,” he said. “And ASWC wants to show the students that we understand they and their families are going through some tough financial times.”
Junior Matt Dittrich, current finance chair and president elect, agrees.
“There were some surpluses last year, so lowering the student fee was logical. The greatest disservice we can do to students is not spend the money we took from them,” he said.
The entire budget endeavor lasts just over a month, beginning with a request for campus clubs and organizations to turn in budget request forms, moving to a finance committee meeting, two budget hearings and culminating with the Senate’s vote of approval.
A notable change in this year’s budget was an increase from 93,036 dollars to 116,445 dollars for campus media organizations–a 25.16 percent increase in the allocation to these groups this year. This change is primarily because the newly-formed yearbook, Waiilatpu, received 15,409 dollars. quarterlife also received a 69 percent increase in funds in order to improve their publication. Additionally, KWCW received 12 percent increase in funding, blue moon a five percent increase and The Pioneer a two percent increase.
Dittrich says the purpose for increased funding stems from the positive reaction these organizations receive from students and excellent leadership within the groups themselves.
“This reflects the overwhelming student support for expanding literary publications. People want things in print,” he said.
Sophomore Molly Esteve, current layout editor of quarterlife and future editor-in-chief, said that despite the fact quarterlife originally asked for 9,500 dollars, they are pleased with the 6,700 dollars ASWC granted them.
“We definitely support their efforts and agree with the amount allotted. They look out for Whitman’s media organizations and we’re thankful for their confidence that quarterlife will do great things with a larger budget,” she said.
quarterlife plans to use these extra funds to increase the size of their publication from about 40 to 100 pages and to change the binding to what Esteve calls “less staples, more blue moon.”
As Esteve points out, next year will be a transition year for quarterlife: they will be printing two of their four issues in the new binding. They hope that in two more years, all four issues will be in the improved format.
Esteve attributes quarterlife’s success to its staff.
“The main factors contributing to quarterlife’s growth have been phenomenal staff members with ambitious attitudes,” she said.
Senior Matt Bachmann, editor of “Hey Man,” KWCW’s newly-established music magazine, is also pleased with the money KWCW received.
KWCW requested money from the Travel and Student Development Fund to produce “Hey Man” this semester. Next semester the publication’s costs are covered in KWCW’s budget.
“ASWC has been very supportive of KWCW over the last couple years,” he said. “One thing I really appreciate about Whitman is that if you have a good idea, ASWC will almost always work with you to make it happen.”
A handful of groups, including BSU and the Whitman College Fencing Club, received funding cuts of several hundred dollars or more despite requesting increased funding. Several new groups received at least 1,000 dollars, including Challah for Hunger, Eye-to-Eye and Model U.N.