Students’ Association rejects $20,500 UPC budget increase

Jeremy Fugleberg

Jeremy Fugleberg

After a heated discussion at its meeting Nov. 20, the Students’ Association funded the group in charge of most campus events for students – but it only gave the group the same amount it got last year.

The move came after the SA’s budget committee rejected a request for more money at its meeting the previous night.

The $145,000 budget was for the University Program Council, a student-run group in charge of Hobo Week, concerts and numerous smaller events. UPC originally asked for $165,500 in student fee dollars- with roughly half of the increase slated to pay for a large concert with a name-brand act.

Some student senators were concerned that UPC unfairly ignores the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, one of SDSU’s largest colleges.

“I don’t feel that the students of Ag-Bio have been fairly represented or have gotten the same events that everyone else has,” said Steven Resler, a senator from the Ag-Bio college.

Other senators were concerned about UPC’s large event fund. The fund was meant to cover the cost of large events, with any money made to go back into the account. But rising artist costs throughout the years hit the fund hard and left it almost empty, said Kasey Bickel, UPC president.

The new plan, she said, was to use a boost of cash to fund smaller concerts less often, but still with name-brand acts. And any money earned would fill the fund. She said the fund’s history and role is murky, but it’s getting checked out.

But Bickel felt that SA wasn’t even prepared for the UPC budget discussion. SA President Alex Halbach confirmed there was some confusion among senators about issues discussed.

“There were some concerns that were brought to me after the meeting that some of the senators didn’t quite know what was going on during the meeting,” he said.

Bickel said she bears no grudge against the SA for rejecting UPC request for more money. She just wishes they were better-informed about the decision, especially since UPC is the largest student fee-funded student group.

“I understand that they didn’t give us the increase we asked for, because it was a significant amount of money,” she said. “But that should be more of a reason to come to the meeting informed and prepared to ask good questions. I don’t think everyone was.”

As a condition for passing the budget Nov. 20, the SA required that UPC have students swipe their student ID cards when attending events. At the next SA meeting on Nov. 27, the Senate changed its mind and dropped the demand. Senators said it was probably too difficult and expensive.