ASG Senate opens first session with budget overview

Senate members address the week’s topics in a question and answer session (Zach Cavanagh)

Steven Jung

The Saddleback Associated Student Government (ASG) held its first senate meeting on Thursday (August 30). The Senate discussed both goals for the semester and recent actions.

The big topics discussed were this semester’s budget plan, as passed by the Board of Trustees Monday, and the sale goals for ASB stamps.

An overview of ASG’s Board-approved $630,892.20 budget was the most important issue discussed in the new business portion of the meeting. A quick breakdown of the sources of funding and the divisions of spending were shown to the members. After a beginning balance of $243,866.20, ASG will garner funds from the bookstore, cafeteria, vendors, and ASB stamps. The budget will in turn be spent mostly on campus life and scholarships. Scholarships will receive most of the funding with just over $162,000.

A good amount of funding will go towards a contingency account in case of emergencies. The Senate said they also want to speak with division leaders to make sure the money being allocated for them is being spent. Last semester, some divisions were not spending very much, because they waited too long to begin spending the funding on what they needed.

A more detailed overview of the budget will be discussed next week, and a re-approval vote to officially set the budget into action will take place in two weeks.

To help support this budget, ASG is taking on larger goals of ASB stamp sales. They have a year long goal of selling $60,000 worth of the $10 ASB stamps and have met $34,000 of their main goal for just the first semester. The Senate members bounced around numerous ideas to drum up stamp sales, including sales at Saturday’s football game.

The discussions of this new business came after an open forum of suggestions from the Senate.

With the Veteran’s club accepting donations for wreaths to place at the memorial of veteran and former student Adam Razani, who recently took his own life, it was suggested that ASG does the same and gets the word out about it.

There was also the suggestion to try to extend the library hours for students. The library currently closes at 8 p.m., but the ASG wants to do a student survey to find out what time the students want the library to close.

The Senate would like to look into why students attending Saddleback seem to be taking less units, despite the spike in enrollment.

The suggestion that garnered the most discussion was how the new no smoking designated areas will be enforced and intend to talk to campus police about the details.

To round out the meeting, last two topics involved two Senate members reviewing committees being formed and parking. The Senate want to condense committees that have the same ideas to help spread their funding evenly. If two committees have the same or similar objectives; then they will be combined into one committee.

The Senate also addressed about how the school is thinking of raising the price of parking by around $50 in an effort to try and allocate funds to improve the parking lots

ASG is interested in hearing what students think and have a comments section on their website where students may post comments or thoughts about current topics discussed. If there is a topic any student wishes for them to address, then he or she may post a comment, and the Senate can bring it up as a topic in the next meeting in either September or October.

For additional info, visit the ASG Senate online at http://www.saddleback.edu/asg/senatearchive.html

Chair of the Senate Shireen Ebrahim addresses the ASG Senate (Zach Cavanagh)

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