“Is now an appropriate time?” Many senators asked this of group representatives whose requests for increases in funding for their organizations were heard at the Associated Student Government meeting last Thursday.
After much debate, all three of the requested line item increases were passed, which will add a total of $5.43 for full time students and $0.56 for part time students to student fees starting next semester.
Jonathan Rivers, chair of the fiscal affairs committee and junior secondary social sciences education major, said that despite economic hard times, senate voted in favor of the organizations, all were publications, because of what they heard from their constituents.
“Even though our economy is tough right now, some services are indispensable,” Rivers said. “One of those, I think Emporia State students felt was the press, and they stood behind that.”
Ali Jordan, junior secondary English education major and President of Quivira, ESU’s literary magazine, requested an increase in hopes to gain more funding for conferences, speakers and to expand the magazine.
“The journal right now, the printing costs are increasing for us,” Jordan said. “We’ve only been able to print 150 journals a year. We’d like to have more pages in them, just because we’d like to be able to print more of the submissions we get.”
Printing costs were also a concern with the other publications. The Bulletin’s printing costs doubled this year, which, according to Kelsey Ryan, Editor-In-Chief and junior political science major, is why it is distributed once weekly, verses twice a week as in the past.
She said that other measures have also been taken to remain fiscally responsible.
“We will not be doing a Bullshit edition this year, that is one way we are trying to be fiscally responsible as far as printing costs go,” Ryan said. “And Clint (Gorton) has been doing an excellent job as our advertising manager – his collection rate is up to 94 percent. That is, as far as I know, the highest it’s ever been in the history of the paper, at least as far back as anyone can remember.”
An increase was still necessary to bring employee salaries to what they had been before a 30 percent cut three years ago, which will help with staff retention and equalization with other on campus jobs, Ryan said.
Lindsey Gentry, editor of The Sunflower and senior business major, noted similar reasons for requesting an increase.
“These increases will go towards printing as well as salaries,” Gentry said. “Last year, our funding was cut in half and so we’re trying to bring it back up to where it was.”
Next Thursday, ASG will host representatives of over 60 Recognized Student Organizations at its meeting where SB09055, a bill concerning RSO allocations for fiscal year 2011 will be debated. When passed, the allocations will also contribute to student fees.