SBCC student senate hopes to raise back $5,000 spent last year


RACHEL BAKICH, Channels Staff

The Associated Student Government claims it spent almost $5,000 over budget last year for the students’ benefit.

Yeihoon Choi, vice president of finance and operations, said the student senate exceeded budget last semester due to large donations they made for students and the campus. These donations included club grants, a scholarship, student events, campus attractions and personal use.

“Our vice president of finance was not very active last year,” said Bryanna Siguenza, vice president of external affairs. “We didn’t even know we went over budget.”

Last year the senate raised $1,527 but spent $6,354, an almost $5000 deficit. A large part of the money was also spent on senators, with the purchase of new member shirts, food at multiple meetings and cost of student senate recognition meetings.

“We have two funds,” Choi said. “And all of these donations were from the student senate fund.”

The Associated Student Government Fund is financed through fundraisers. It currently holds a little more than $20,000 and went over budget by almost $5,000 last year. The other is the Student Representative Fund, collected from the $1 fee all students are charged at registration. This fund currently holds around $117,000.

Personal expenses for the senators came at a high cost last semester. This includes student government shirts to be worn at conferences, which cost $815. An additional $399 for food at meetings and an annual $378 senate recognition party. These costs totaled out at $1,592.

However, not all of the student government funds were used for personal spending.

Last year, senators provided four City College clubs with grants. The Biology, Physiology, American sign language and Japanese calligraphy clubs all received money from the student senate funds. In all, these grants cost the senate $1,250.

The student senate also provided $1,000 for an annual scholarship, which is given to a student with a 2.0 or higher grade point average.

Student events and communication tools also put a dent in the student government funding last year. This included coffee with a senator events, where the members interact with students.

“We set up a table outside and basically give out free coffee to the students,” Choi said.

The senators believed the coffee with a senator events were successful and hope to do it again this year. They also purchased two suggestion boxes for students to leave their concerns. Together, this came to a total of $121.

The senate also used $136 to feed the vendors who sold their wares at the Merchant’s Bazaar, where local businesses rent out space on our campus.

Finally, a large part of the student government funds were spent on campus improvements such as memorial plaques and a vertical garden called The Living Wall Coalition. The $200 wall added innovative and vibrant greenery to the Luria Library.

The senators also funded the memorial on West Campus to commemorate the victims of the Isla Vista tragedy in May 2014. This cost them $552.

They also donated $1,500 last year to support the self-governance of Isla Vista.

This semester, senators are planning fundraising events to earn back the near $5,000 deficit.

“I’m going to make sure that we have four fundraising events this year,” Choi said. “At least that’s my goal.”

There will be another Merchant’s Bazaar in November, which is the senate’s second confirmed fundraiser so far this year. Based on last year’s budget, the bazaar is estimated to raise about $2,800.