Disclaimer: ASW is allocated funds based on the college’s enrollment, so the budget is tentative until the school year starts and students have paid their fees.
ASW is hoping to fund more student projects and enliven the campus with events through the 2019-2020 budget, according to ASW officers.
The budget is money that goes toward special projects on campus and can be used by students for clubs and other opportunities. The majority of the budget is allocated for events, ASW scholarships and clubs.
“We won’t have any exact figures until the school year starts,” said Johnny Carr, director of budgeting and accounting, in an email. “This is because ASW gets allocated money based on the college’s enrollment, so until the school knows exactly how many students are enrolled, they don’t give us our official budget.”
The budget is accumulated through the $55 student activity fee paid by all enrolled full-time students at the beginning of the academic year, combined with individual billing to part-time students. ASW then divides the money into separate funds that focus on specific issues on campus.
The student board formulates a proposed budget at the end of the previous academic year and passes it to the incoming senators for approval. This is supposed to create a sense of accountability between the different branches of ASW.
“I think it’s important to know that Senate does have that power,” said Blanton, a junior peace and conflict studies custom major. “There is a check on what the student leaders are doing.”
The largest portion of the budget goes toward ASW events, with 37.44% being set aside for various expenses: speakers, food trucks, entertainment and more.
ASW is required to host one event a week throughout the academic year. Rather than just hosting events to fulfill that requirement, ASW hopes to make their events more inclusive, Blanton said.
“[We’re] trying to have events that are diverse in their outreach and aren’t just targeting certain sections of the population,” Blanton said. “Because I know a lot of students have talked about that in recent years. Being like ‘Well, I don’t want to go to ASW events because they always just focus on this one issue in their events.’”
Events President Alyssa Appleman said one way ASW hopes to do this is by hosting more student-held events. This way, students can participate in activities they are already interested in and passionate about.
“We want to focus on intentionally programming events and getting more students [there] having a better time,” said Appleman, a junior biology major.
The third largest section of the budget is club allocations, making up 10.09% of the funding.
“One of the best ways to [increase student involvement] is through clubs, because they’re signing up for something they’re already passionate about,” said Johnny Carr, director of budgeting and accounting for ASW.
With the new budget, ASW officials say they are excited to work toward both their individual and shared goals and priorities.
Carr said he wants to increase student awareness on the opportunities ASW can provide for them. The Opportunity Fund, which makes up 2.39% of the budget, is allocated money for students who need funding for clubs, research and projects.
“We have a lot of this money set aside but students don’t realize that money is there for them,” Carr said. “I want students to understand how much money there actually is.”
Carr said he also wants ASW’s budget to be more representative of what the campus community wants. Meeting with different professors and students each month to see what they want their funds to go toward and how to increase student turnout is one of the ways he plans to do that, he said.
“We all want to hear back from students to get people involved and we want to hear thoughts and suggestions.”