Students crowd the food cart outside of the UC on a Friday afternoon and then use one of the seven new hydration stations around campus.
Or, students lock their bike up on the new bike rack outside before entering the UC lounge to enjoy an evening concert brought on by ACE Board. Ever wonder who funds the food carts, hydration stations, bike rack or concerts? Student Senate does.
Each year students are charged an activity fee of $232. Since there was about 1,788 students recorded at the beginning of the year, the activity fee totaled $414,816.
This money goes straight to the Student Senate budget where it is allocated to several different groups on campus.
The money students pay for goes toward clubs and organizations, winter and summer study abroad scholarships, ACE Board and many other areas.
But last year, $61,022 carried over, leaving Student Senate with almost half a million dollars in this year’s budget.
“$61,000 is by far the most we have had carried over but it’s due to the fact that we have some loose
ends – app and mascot,” Student Activities Director Steve Klein said. “You want to carryover $15,000 to $20,000 for unexpected expenses and have money in your account when you start.”
And now with every cent of the budget being allocated out to over 15 different areas, there are a few large ticket ideas on the table.
Last year, when the creation of Pacific University’s phone app first started, a large chunk of money went toward that. And now, for the next two years, Student Senate will cover about $15,000 of the cost.
“That’s a great way for students to get involved and know what’s going on so that’s going to be a huge difference in communication between students and Student Senate specifically,” Vice President of Finance Bijoux Doherty said. “We do have close to half a million dollars but we are not just free to spend it however we want. We have things we are suppose to spend it on [like] Outdoor Pursuits, SAAC, Greek Senate, RHA and ACE Board.”
This year, Student Senate has decided to launch the phone app in Spring as well as give Boxer a complete costume redesign, a costume that has been worn for over 12 years. This would be about a $15,000 project.
“It’s kind of ran its course,” Klein said. “It’s breaking down; it’s kind of nasty so I think it is time for a new one.”
Other projects that are underway are the UC art projects and digital signage. Between adding a couple more television screens around campus, two students – Senior Bronson Barretto and junior Caleb Bass – are being paid to create art pieces for the UC, altogether forming a $15,000 voter approved project.
Student Senate has also decided to increase winter and summer term study abroad scholarships, offering seven scholarships in both January and May instead of five.
But one thing that students should remember is that this is their money. Every year, Student Senate puts out a survey about what students want their money to go toward. They also hold open forums with president Lesley Hallick.
“I really would like to see students at forums because a lot of things students complain about and have issues with are talked about and addressed at the forums,” Doherty said. “There’s not as much attendance as I would personally like and it’s just a great place for students to find out information because Lesley Hallick is there and all the board members are there, which is really cool.”
The next open forum will be Oct. 29 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the UC. Students are also urged to attend the larger student senate meetings Thursday at noon in the library conference room.