Although the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) Senate voted to publish the 2012-2013 budget Feb. 8, the senators are still in the process of updating the information. As far as the senators have planned, no timeline has been set to publish the budget.
According to Senate Adviser Ellie Ash-Balá, the senators have already met to finalize the budget and are now working to make the budget presentable and easy to understand.
“They had to discuss how to format the information and how to present it [in terms of] charts, graphs, Excel spreadsheets, etc.” Ash-Balá said.
The Senate took more time to debate on the publication of the budget because, in previous years, the budget did not include line-items indicating how much of ASPC’s funds are allotted to each student-run organization, partnership and organization, and senators’ individual stipends.
“I believe that [the senators] are working with the ASPC Webmaster and Communications Commissioner. The reason why it has taken a few weeks is that several of the senators had to get together to talk about how to format the information. The Senate is definitely not dragging their feet or anything like that,” Ash-Balá said.
Sophomore Class President Reina Buenconsejo PO ’15 and Commissioner of Clubs and Sports Emma Wolfarth PO ’14 initially supported the idea of publishing a limited budget online and providing detailed data only to students who requested the information.
First-year Class President Nico Kass PO ’16, however, said he supported the publication of a line-item budget.
“Publishing the budget is an effort to improve transparency, which is something that the student body is interested in. Additionally, there were a number of students that were asking for the budget to be published specifically,” Kass said.
Because this is the first time that funding for student-run organizations has been published, some senators were concerned there would be confusion as to why some clubs and organizations receive more funds than others. At the end of the Senate meeting Feb. 8, however, a nine-to-three vote concluded that it was in the students’ and ASPC’s best interest to publish the budget in full.
Ash-Balá said that the final published budget will include all expected revenue sources for the ASPC for the 2012-2013 school year, including student fees, investment incomes, Amazon program income, and vending income. All expected expenses for the year such as those from office spending, the Coop Fountain and Store, Senate programs, The New York Times, Pomona Events Committee programs, TSL, KSPC, and security and alcohol funds would also be included. The total amounts to about $450,000 in revenue and expenses each academic year.
The process to write and approve the budget takes place every year in April and May for the following academic year, and it takes several weeks to decide.
“The budget is set at the end of each school year for the upcoming school year and is approved by ASPC Senate. It takes a couple weeks to set because we [get] all clubs that get funding from us to present in person their funding proposals for the following year,” said Faye Wang PO ’13, ASPC Vice President for Finance. “There is nothing a matter of debate right now. The budget is confusing to look at and hard to interpret. We are currently formatting it and adding language so that this is not the case.”
According to ASPC President Sarah Appelbaum PO ’13, the budget will be published as soon as the senators finalize the line-items on the ASPC website at aspc.pomona.edu/senate/budget/.