Student Senate approves $22K budget allocation

Student+Senator+Brianna+Hull-Dennis%2C+a+junior+political+science+major%2C+voices+her+opinion+during+a+time+of+discussion+pertaining+to+a+senate+bill+for+the+Student+Recreation+Center+funding+during+the+final+student+senate+meeting+of+the+spring+semester+Wednesday+night.

Rob Le Cates

Student Senator Brianna Hull-Dennis, a junior political science major, voices her opinion during a time of discussion pertaining to a senate bill for the Student Recreation Center funding during the final student senate meeting of the spring semester Wednesday night.

Katja Benz, Student Government Reporter

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with corrections.

The Student Senate unanimously approved the $22,000 budget allocation for career services on Wednesday at the last senate meeting of the semester.

The $22,000 budget allocation for the 2022-2023 academic year will cover the $15,000 career services typically sends out of its own fund and an additional $7,000, so career services can make more opportunities available for Eastern students.

Bobbi Kingery, director of career services, said the current budget only paid the staff, meaning any other resources or services that the office provides must be provided by career services raising funds themselves.

“This is the challenge up at this point,” Kingery said. “The university, through appropriated funds, only pays for staff salaries. So I have no actual operating budget to pay for software, like my copy machines, my computers, all of that. So that is money that we as career services have to raise ourselves through job fair fees and such like that. So asking for this fee will allow me to cover my basic operating costs, as our job fair fee money is going down due to COVID and kind of a change in recruitment.”

Having this increase in funds helps Kingery and the other Career Services staff put on events, job fairs and help students with networking by going to events and on field trips.

“That will help with student programming (which) is really our focus,” Kingery said. “We used to do what we called field trips, where we would take a group of students to visit an employer in Chicago so that they could network and do field trips. And because we haven’t had appropriate funding, or we haven’t been bringing in enough money to cover our budget, we haven’t been able to do things like that. And I think that can be really beneficial for our first generation students who don’t already have that professional network built. It will allow us to bring more speakers in to help do things like dining etiquette, which we did late last month, or early this month, actually, where students got to hear speakers and learn basic dining etiquette for the job search. So it’s really going to be funneled back to the students in programming and opportunities.”

Because of the pandemic, many career services events had to be online, but Kingery is hoping to increase in person events in the post-pandemic world with a new budget.

Paul McCann, director of business services and treasurer, said housing fees for residence halls will stay at a 2.5% increase while increase in cost for apartments is three percent for the 2022-2023 school year.

The senate voted 11-2-3 to approve a new student recreation operation fee.

Originally, the fee was $6.79 per credit hour up until a student reaches 12 credit hours, which is $81.48 total.

Now every student, regardless of the number of credits they are in, will pay a flat fee of $81.48.

Senators Brianna Hull-Dennis and Lesly Mendoza think having a flat fee will not help students.

Hull-Dennis thinks that a fee per credit hour is more reflective of student needs, and Mendoza thinks that the fee should be allocated elsewhere to better help students.

Senate Speaker Jasmine Yusef gave a speech about the state of the senate. Yusef reflected on both the past year and the year to come in the student senate.

Jacqueline Williams, the student body president, did not give a state of the university speech, despite it being on the agenda.

This was the last Student Senate meeting of the semester, and elections for the student body president, executive vice president and senators seeking another term will be open until Friday at midnight.

 

Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]