Tickets Diverge on Budget Proposals
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 19:02
Candidates for GUSA president and vice president submitted budget proposals Sunday in anticipation of the Feb. 21 election, outlining a specific fiscal plan for their terms and requesting corresponding funding from the university.
Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14) and Maggie Cleary (COL ’14) requested $48,500, the most of any ticket this year. Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) and Adam Ramadan (SFS ’14) followed with a proposed budget of $44,600, while Shavonnia Corbin Johnson (SFS ’14) and Joe Vandegriff (COL ’14) requested $41,500 for the upcoming year, as did Spencer Walsh (MSB ’14) and Rob Silverstein (SFS ’14).
Cannon Warren (SFS ’14) and Andrew Logerfo (COL ’14) submitted a proposed budget of $31,145 with the title “Smaller Is Better.”
Georgetown University Student Association President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) requested $23,400 during their 2012 campaign — not including funding for Collegiate Readership, which costs around $15,000 — the lowest of the contenders in the 2012 election.
This year’s funding requests are a fraction of what some candidates proposed last year, when Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) and Maggie Cleary requested $165,000 and Tyler Sax (COL ’13) and Michael Crouch (MSB ’13) requested $76,000.
There was some confusion among candidates regarding budgeting for the Georgetown University Farmer’s Market and Collegiate Readership, a program which distributes newspapers on campus at no charge to students. Most candidates allotted between $10,000 and $16,000 for Collegiate Readership in their budgets. Corbin Johnson and Vandegriff, however, did not specify it as a line item in their budget, but Vandegriff said they would like to continue the program. This would increase their budget by at least another $10,000, surpassing Appelbaum and Cleary in funding requests.
Similarly, all candidates except Walsh and Silverstein budgeted $5,000 for the farmer’s market in their plans. Walsh said that he would like to continue to support the market, but had been told that it would be self-sufficient by next year. But according to Farmer’s Market Director Lexi Cotcamp (MSB ’15), no such decision has been reached.
All candidates allotted between $10,000 and $15,000 for the GUSA Fund.
Appelbaum and Cleary allotted funds for specific proposals included in their platform, such as co-sponsorships of pluralism and social justice programming and a proposed landlord fair for students seeking off-campus housing. Their budget also includes funding for areas of student life not normally addressed by GUSA, like student-professor dinners. The pair included $2,000 to continue GUSA’s Mission and Ministry Report and $500 to continue its Intellectual Life Report, while maintaining funding of $1,000 for the Student Advocacy Office.
Appelbaum said his ticket’s budget emphasizes the areas he and Cleary see as most important for GUSA to address.
“It shows a commitment to what GUSA is involved in, a commitment to programs that work effectively and a commitment to programs we proposed,” Appelbaum said. “It will give GUSA the resources to positively affect student life.”
Tisa and Ramadan included funding for new proposals, including development of a mobile app outlining the Code of Student Conduct, a Spring Fest and funding for recycling bins in campus apartments. The pair reduced funding for the Student Advocacy Office from $1,000 to $500, noting that the organization will receive some direct university funding next year.
Tisa emphasized the importance of increasing GUSA’s budget this year.
“Something that was clear from my role as speaker this year was that Clara and Vail’s budget was too low. GUSA is growing and we need money in order to do things,” Tisa said. “We made the budget larger to give more flexibility to make sure not to dip into the reserves again this year.”