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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA releases tentative budget plan


Despite annual revenue of $1.4 million, ASUA only expects to see about $100 in profit this academic year.

This is due to the group’s operating expenses in conjunction with continuing service on outstanding debts still owed by the group, according to Associated Students of the University of Arizona Treasurer Reid Nelson during a budget presentation on Wednesday.

ASUA’s total operating expense for fiscal year 2012 is approximately $868,000. There is also an outstanding debt of $186,000, which stems from a series of budget cuts and two loans received from the UofA Bookstore. The loans are in their third year of their respective contracted agreements. Nelson said one of the loan payments, in the amount of $150,000, is for a 2009 concert put on by ASUA that lost nearly $1 million. The other loan was for renovations.

In addition to debt service, ASUA plans to spend more then $400,000 on salaries and stipends for the year.

Increases in revenue, however, have helped offset some of the costs.
“We really lucked out with student fees this year, we got a lot of money,” Nelson said.

In his report Nelson also told ASUA that Safe Ride, a service that gives students free rides around campus at night, has received a grant ­­— which means ASUA will not be responsible for funding the service to the same degree as in recent years.

Club funding was one area of the budget that saw a dramatic increase, of $25,000. Included in total expenditures is an allocation of more than $160,000 for clubs.

The tentative budget also reflects a $3,000 increase in ASUA stipends, though that expense is offset by a $3,000 decrease in vice presidential expenses.

The money for stipends went to program directors like the director of Pride Alliance.

“This is just our way of compensating their work,” said Brett Ponton, administrative vice president of ASUA.

Funding for sustainability efforts was another area that saw substantial growth, Nelson said.

“It (sustainability) is the direction the administration wants to go,” Nelson said.

The ASUA executive board will receive a combined stipend of $16,500, with ASUA President James Allen receiving $6,000. Staff will receive the largest portion, about $346,000. Some of the largest allocations are for the associate director and the system supply analyst, receiving about $63,000 and $79,000 respectively.

ASUA is also revealed tentative budgets for several large operating expenses. These include $200,000 for Safe Ride, $190,000 for the Spring Fling Carnival and more than $60,000 in sustainability efforts.

After the budget presentation, there was a question about whether the Spring Fling carnival would be held on campus this year. Ponton said it would still be held at Rillito Downs, but that a campaign will be made over this year to bring it back to campus for 2013. He added ASUA would save money by having it on campus.

ASUA Sen. Chad Travis mentioned during his report that a study was going to be conducted on attendance during the days before Thanksgiving break to determine if it is effective to hold classes during the week of that holiday.

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