ASG creates new budget plan to benefit students

Evelyn Caicedo

Saddleback College’s Associated Student Government’s goal has always been to have the student life more involved with the campus.

 ASG realized when a student becomes more involved at their campus, the opportunity to succeed becomes more achievable, which will then improve their college experience and security for the future.

Campus participation gives students “the opportunity to learn valuable leadership, organizational, and communication skills,” the ASG’s mission statement said.

However, if it weren’t for the funds provided by ASG, then the high standard student life would be non-existent.

ASG, since the beginning of this year alone, has already started to make a difference in the budget plan, because they felt it was not working toward its complete potential.

“I feel like the entire budget committee, as well as the Student Development office, believed that Senate was not performing as productively as it could have been,” vice president of Inter Club Council, Justin Huff, 20, psychology, said, “especially in regards to advocating for students on more pertinent issues than just financing.”

ASG started delegating, and assigned “Reserve for Mid-Year Requests” for the first time.

“The biggest [feature added to the budget] is that the reserves for mid-year allocations that are given to divisions in the beginning of the year,” Huff said.

This plan was made due to past situations in which the division leaders would ask for money last minute and sometimes not use it. Thus the plan would make sure the money is actually being used.

“This leads to more time for the Senate to be doing more productive things, as well as funds hopefully being used more effectively and efficiently,” Huff said.

Also this year the ASG would like to focus their funding on the special topic grant (which is?) and center on the theme of service learning.

br /> According to the 2010 Special Topic Grant Announcement, each year ASG chooses a new topic to fund where they could generate new ideas and would focus on campus programs, events, and initiatives.

In ASG’s service learning they want to teach learning strategies that integrate meaningful community service with instruction to civic responsibility and to then strengthen the campus.

A total of $10,000 is available to be awarded to this project and individual grant applications must not exceed $2000.

The ASG provided this plan to conserve money as well as use it efficiently since it is becoming harder for students to control their budgets.

Discounted rental books, used books and loans are just some of the many options students are taking advantage of this semester in order to spend wisely. According to Mark Yetman, 23, Saddleback Bookstore staff, students with ASB stamps on their Saddleback I.D. gives them opportunities for budget savings. For instance, each student with an ASB stamp is allowed 10 percent off retail price on any clothing which displays the Saddleback logo. Also, the ASB stamp allows 10 percent off any school supplies in the bookstore.

Students are beginning to understand that they are still in need of their education and will go to far lengths in order to achieve their goals.

“We want students to realize that college is expensive and that they really need to plan for their education,” Javier A. William, Financial Aid Specialist, said. “They need to even plan month-by-month what their expenses are going to be.”

For more information on how to build a budget to make sure students are spending their money efficiently, go to www.saddleback.edu.

Depending on the amount of units each student is taking some may be spending an average of $17,000 living away from home per semester, and $11,000 if a students commutes from home.

 

Living in Southern California, though it has a beautiful climate, has downsides such as expensive living and transportation costs.

Therefore loans given to individuals who apply to financial aid will be used in all aspects of their education.

Another major factor is, due to the economy, some students attend Saddleback College solely because the prices of other universities may have been too high to consider.

Additionally, college students from Universities of California and California State Universities are essentially transferring back to community colleges to take classes more affordable to them.

“It is pretty affordable to be a student [at Saddleback], so I definitely chose Saddleback over UC schools that charge $12,000, or $5,000 at a state school,” Adrian Michael, 27, political science, said. “So I have saved $800 dollars a semester.”

Even with the hard times, students may be attending Saddleback College for different reasons as well, said Williams, including having smaller class sizes and being taught by professors instead of teachers’ aids.

Due to the smaller class sizes students are more likely to spend more one-on-one time with their professors. In addition, the courses at Saddleback are demonstrated through a hands-on technique unlike universities like UCLA where courses are based more on theory standards because of large class sizes.

“A lot of students are coming here because it is cheaper,” Williams said, “but also because it is just a better community with better value.”

Since all these accommodations provided by ASG, financial aid, and the bookstore have been added to the school, perhaps college will soon be more affordable and less financially stressful.

“Hopefully both student government, as well as the divisions, will be more productive,” Huff said, “both with their finances as well as the activities they throw.”

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