There is a warm fuzzy feeling in the office this week, which can mean one of two things: the punchbowl of Sudsy’s Special Holiday Eggnog is here; or it’s budget season. Unfortunately, it’s budget season. Today, the Ol’ Dirty outlined the upcoming PFC Benchmark hearing set for Wednesday’s Senate meeting.
The PFC estimates a 4.3 percent increase with an extra .5 increase to allow for growth, totaling a 4.8 percent increase. PFC Sen. Steven Wilsey said the PFC looked at numbers allocated last year and the Current Service Memo . The benchmark memos were looked at but not factored in, he said.
“We basically did it so that smaller groups, through a proportional budget, get more money for growth,” [PFC Chair Jacob] Brennan said…
PFC Sen. Neil Brown said, “…we’re actually giving small groups a chance to change and develop.”…
“My personal take is that it’s not enough. It doesn’t leave much room for special circumstances or need. That’s a problem with it and that’s why personally I’d like to see it higher,” Wilsey said.
The Executive’s calculation is slightly less, with an estimated 3.9 percent increase to maintain service levels with a .6 percent increase for growth. ASUO Finance Coordinator Matt Rose told the Commentator the Exec looks at current service levels, historical spending habits and percent of fundraising put back into the program. Regarding fundraising, Rose said “Mainly in the last few years that has been a focus” and that student groups who are “not only using student fees dollars but taking an extra step” to work toward a sustainable future for itself should be rewarded.
There is a lot of money out there, and many would be surprised how easily it can be attained through advertising, sponsorships, merchandise sales, private donations and more. If you don’t believe me, look at Campaign Oregon: $717 million raised in under seven years.
Standards and goals need to be set within the ASUO that encourages not only fiscal responsibility, but entrepreneurship and self-sustainability. This would aide in the “social, cultural, educational and physical development of its members, and for the advancement of their individual and collective interests both within and without the University,” the purpose of the ASUO.
Let me put it this way: A group receives money from the incidental fee to put on a program/event, a celebration of that group’s culture/mission/perverse ways/etc. In essence, the group uses student funds to help build the community. But, if the group seeks funding outside the ASUO, it shares its culture/mission/perverse ways/etc. to many, many, many more people inside and outside the University community during the process. Community building is about networking, problem solving, business and personal relationships, and the same risk/reward process that is ever so important in that scary thing we call the real world.
A trio of revolutionaries once said, “I don’t know what they want from me, It’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” Hopefully, the Senate has these words in mind when it sets the PFC benchmark on Wednesday.