ASM Budget amendment #2: 17th session initiative funding

The motion: ‘Create a line-item for “17th Session Initiatives Fund ’ with a recommendation for “Add to IB”‘

The ASM budget cycle does not line up well with the elected terms of the ASM Student Council. The 16th session of the Student Council will pass a budget, perhaps with some new initiatives, but most of us will not be able to implement anything we propose.  Our budget was mostly written by the 15th session – in fact, 16 percent of our budget was written by the 14th session! Similarly, we are writing the budget for the 17th session and part of the 18th session. This is a problem for ASM – think about the 15th session, and any initiatives they passed. How excited are any of the council members to take them up?

For anything we might want to do in the 16th session that wasn’t budgeted for, our only choice for funding is to shuffle existing funding sources, or deficit spend and trust that sources like the GSSF will run a surplus. ASM runs a fairly tight budget, and truthfully has cut most of our discretionary budget over the past few years, such that we primarily just fund our fulltime staff and fill our event/travel/operations grants. The state raided our reserves, further limiting what we have available.

There is nothing that can be done for the 16th session. We can only do whatever the 15th session in October of 2008 thought we might need. I would like to do better by the 17th session, and recognize that they may have needs that we cannot anticipate. I am therefore proposing that we provide the 17th session with an “Initiatives Fund” line item in our budget. They will be free to use it how they see fit – including not using it at all.

This isn’t really excess spending – if ASM decides it wants to fund some initiative, ASM could budget for it and spend the money the next year.  This simply makes it possible for the originators of an idea to also be the executors of the idea. I hope the 16th session will step up and demonstrate leadership, and make it possible for future ASM councils to better serve their constituents.

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