At issue:UPC’s budget debate was inevitable due to lack of education and communication between the SA and UPC.
Our view:The UPC and SA must wok out their differences for the sake of students.
It was bound to happen. Another year’s University Program Council budget goes to the Students’ Association for approval. Once again, UPC students fight for more money. Once again, Ag-Bio senators feel UPC is ignoring their college.
This time, dazed and wounded, UPC walks away from another fight. With nothing to show for it but bad feelings, distrust and the same $145,000 they got last year.
Who won? We don’t know. It certainly wasn’t students.
This has to stop. Now.
Some senators didn’t know what was going on at the SA meeting Nov. 20. Many didn’t know all the details of the budget meeting the day before. The problem here is that senators barely had 24 hours to review UPC’s budget after it came out of the committee hearing.
That’s insane. How can senators make good decisions about any budget when final changes to it may happen barely a day before final approval?
SA should put at least a week between the meetings of the budget committee and the larger senate. That way, senators and the student body get a chance to talk about how their money is spent.
There’s no good reason why UPC and SA can’t see eye-to-eye. Members of both groups, students all, are good-hearted people who fiercely believe in what their organizations can do for fellow students.
That is where the healing has to start. Both sides need to sit down together over coffee – -not over budget sheets and distrust. Both sides need to start building the bridges that solve the problems.
So what should they talk about?
UPC should work with Ag-Bio senators to find more ways to co-sponsor events. UPC staff should talk frankly about what they want to do with the money they get. They need to be forthright about past spending mistakes, unclear budgets and the confusing large event fund.
Senators must understand UPC is not meant to be a business. The organization’s worth to this campus can’t be measured in attendance or in a bottom line. Ag-Bio senators need to realize cooperation with UPC is just that – a joint effort.
UPC and SA: The fight is over. Now it’s time to sit down and talk. It might be the only good thing that comes out of this year’s budget battle.