Allie Bedell

Student Life Editor


On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Student Assembly approved four proposed budgets and the student activities fee for the fiscal year 2012-2013.

Kent Drake-Deese, the director of Residential Life and Housing Services presented a budget totaling $17,178,750, which amounts to a 2.5 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

According to Drake-Deese, this is the first time in five years housing rates have not gone up for students. The increased budget, however, is due to several factors, including the need to reinstall a Resident Director position for the apartments where the position is missing this year.

In addition to increased operating costs, res life is currently investing in a one-card system, which is expected to be out next fall according to Paul Striffolino, the assistant vice president for Student Affairs. The one-card system will put laundry, meals, FLEX money, and regular building access all together on a new student identification card.

Dr. Brian Quigly, director of the Counseling Center, presented a budget increase of 2 percent for the coming fiscal year, putting the requested budget at $709,885.54. Quigley requested an increased budget citing that when he became the director, the center was underfunded.“When I started here, we were significantly under-resourced in comparison to similar centers,” Quigley said.

He said increased costs will incorporate the transition of a master’s counselor position to a doctoral level, so the center’s counselors would be able to do more work. The increased budget also allocated money for accreditation fees, as the center is going through the accreditation process this year. As a result of financial support, Quigley sid, the Counseling Center has been able to cut wait time for students seeking appointments from nearly two weeks to just three days.

Striffolino presented the Student Center budget, requesting a 1.9 percent increase at $2,681,799 for fiscal year 2012-2013. Increased costs are associated with labor, as last year the student center requested no budget increase at all, and student employees were not allocated enough money. This budget also includes all student center operational costs as well as the budgets for Greek life, the Night Owl Cafe, the Community Service Office, student offices, and all of Student Involvement.

He also presented the Zorn Dining Commons budget at $10,501,262, amounting to a 3 percent increase. Striffolino said they trimmed as much as possible, but due to rising food costs, the budget required this increase. He said a smaller increase in budget would have equated to cuts in the program.

“What we’re seeing this year is in the last month, some pretty big spikes in food for the year we’re in,” Striffolino said, explaining that costs can spike at any time and are not always predictable because they depend on a variety of variables.

Finally, the Student Assembly approved student fees for the coming fiscal year. If approved by the president’s office, full time students will see a raise of $3.56, putting fees at $176 for fiscal year 2012-2013. Part time students will face a 16 cent increase to $8.11 and continuing education students will see a 1 cent increase to 30 cents.

All budgets must be approved by Student Assembly before the president’s office presides over them to make the final decision.

In other council news, Student Assembly will be putting out petitions for two non-traditional student representative positions, a sophomore class vice president position, a junior class representative, a freshman class representative, and a University System Student Board representative to fill vacant spots.


Allie Bedell can be contacted at



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