ASI discusses $19 million budget distribution

Associated Students Inc. (ASI) senators discussed the use of the $19 million budget as well as their financial duties and power during last Thursday’s meeting. 

Carol Lee, director of financial services, presented a 30-minute presentation to the board of directors. During her lecture, she defined the duties and responsibilities ASI student government has regarding spending and assessing the budget of this academic year as well as planning for the 2020-2021 school year. 

“You, as a board, have the responsibility to ensure that you’re safeguarding ASI’s company assets,” Lee said. “Your financial responsibility, a good part of it, is passing this budget. You have the responsibility to review and approve the budget.” 

Multiple students and guests came to the ASI Senate meeting to voice their concerns regarding budget funding for the heritage programs.
Joanne Guintu | The Poly Post

ASI board of directors’ job is to protect the finances from negligence and fraud as well as reviewing and passing the budget for the following academic year. Management of Financial Services prepares, compiles and predicts all expenses and income ASI might need for the following year and presents them to the board.

Lee also disclosed the amount of the ASI operational budget during her budget presentation. 

“We have a total budget of … $19 million,” Lee said. “Not all of that money comes into ASI because the university is responsible for collecting all that money for us. They always take a huge chunk off the top to pay the debt.” 

The money the university took from the ASI operational budget this year was $5 million to pay off debts the university has. The residual money of $14 million is used for both the operations and ASI budget. 

“The developing and operations budget is used to cover expenses on both the Bronco Recreational and Intramural Complex and Bronco Student Center (BSC), while the ASI budget is used for pretty much everything we do,” said ASI President Pasindu Senaratne, a fourth-year business student. 

The budget can also be used to support clubs and their trips to conventions and expos. 

During last Thursday’s meeting, Cal Poly Pomona’s Design-Build Institution of America (DBIA) student chapter was approved funding for its trip to the DBIA Convention and Expo. 

This event will allow engineering students to network with professionals and potentially receive an award for the projects they presented at the conference, according to Arminda Diaz, a fourth-year civil engineer student and president of CPP’s DBIA student chapter. 

The board of directors contributed the maximum amount of $6,000 allowed to allocate to a single club. 

However, not all student guests at the ASI Senate meeting were content with how the budget was used during the meeting. 

Multiple students disagreed with the proposal of retracting funds from heritage clubs presented at the Oct. 23 ASI Governmental Affairs Committee meeting. 

Students raised their concerns during the open forum portion of the meeting. 

“We, as the students, are very unhappy with the recently proposed Student Opportunity Initiatives Amendments, specifically regarding funding for the heritage programs,” said Summer Blanco, a fourth-year biology student. 

“The reason why these programs were created w(as) to reevaluate inclusion on campus, a poor value of this university. Campus climate is not safe for students, making this the worst time to reallocate funds.” 

The board of directors did not directly comment on the Student Opportunity Initiatives Amendments or the funding of the heritage programs on campus. Instead, the board carried on with the agenda. 

The next ASI Senate meeting will take place on Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. in the BSC England Evans. 

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