ASI approves new budget

Associated Students Inc. is finally cashing in on their promises to increase services for students after students voted in the referendum to increase student fees.

The ASI Boards of Directors voted Wednesday to approve the revised budget that has allocated the funds from the student fees that were increased at the start of the semester.

Students voted on and approved a referendum last semester that increased ASI fees by $12 over the course of three years. The fees were increased $9 this semester. They will increase an additional $2 in fall 2012 and an additional $1 in fall 2013.

This current budget has been sent to President Robert A. Corrigan for final approval before it can be enacted.

“We have worked very to make sure students get the most bang for their buck,” said Nick Coluzzi, vice president of finance for ASI.

Some of the ways ASI has decided to make good on its promises include  restoring scholarships and a few student internships that were cut as a result of the budget crisis. In addition, ASI has also increased available funds that student organizations may apply for by $30,000, creating a total of $90,000 in funding.

According to Coluzzi, the additional funding will allow for student organizations to put on more events and reach a larger audience in an attempt to better serve the student population.

“I think the increased funding is really great,” Lexi Adsit, women and gender studies major, sophomore, 20 who is involved in SF State Pride. “It allows us to be more visible and really feel supported and a part of this community which is a really great feeling.”

Not all of the additional funds have been allocated for spending, according to Coluzzi. Some of the funds have been set aside for possible funding of new programs in the future and to cover possible future deficits.

Maher Dabit, science and engeneering representative for ASI voted against the approval of the revised budget.

“We need to assess these programs before we approve the budget,” Dabit said. “They need more funding.”

Other members of the board responded to his concern by saying that the evaluation process of ASI programs is underway, but it is a lengthy process. The recommendations for funding based on the evaluations of the different program will be reflected in  the proposed budget for next year.

Coluzzi expects that Corrigan will approve the revised budget in the next week or two.