I guess I should start with why I am posting the USG Budget online and more so even… why I am posing it in blog segments. I have been in USG for four years and people have been asking to have access to the USG Budget for as long as I can remember. Before I explain it in a series of blog posts line by line, I just want to make it clear that the USG Budget is complete public information (just as any budget in the CUNY system is). The reason that I personally have not posted the Budget online to date is because I was afraid that without the proper commentary behind each line item, people could make incorrect assumptions about how the Budget is being spent and how it has been spent in the past.
I have never been shy to sit down with anyone and break down the budget line by line, but to say the least: this is a long process. Budgets across the CUNY system consist of earmarked funds, mandatory spending items, and items that are included per agreements that are reached between multiple departments and multiple associations. If I was to explain it with every person who wants to have it broken down in front of them, I think we can all agree that this would be a never ending process.
It recently dawned on me to post the Budget on our website in parts with corresponding blog posts to give readers some context to how it actually works. This will help everyone by avoiding any rumors or false assumptions as to how the USG uses it to serve the Student Body at-large.
The reason why this is important to me is because rumors--some harsher than others--have been said about how the USG utilizes its budget in all of the years that I have been in it. While there are not too many rumors about USG that keep me up at night, I do take rumors about how the USG spends its portion of the Student Activity Fee very seriously.
I think I take the misconception about how we spend our activity fee most seriously because I also take it personally. I take this personally because I know first hand how hard my team and I work to serve the student body and to protect its student activity fee.
That said, I am delighted and proud to announce that the USG Budget and the breakdown of the Student Activity Fee will be posted in five upcoming, weekly installments that will be posted every Thursday evening. It will be posted in the following order:
Pt 1. The Budgets are Coming! (The one you are reading)
Pt 2. The Myths, the Legend...mostly the myths (Student Activity Fee and overview of USG Budget)
Pt 3. Operations Budget pt. 1
Pt 4. Operations Budget pt. 2
Pt. 5. Operations Budget pt 3.
Pt 6. Programming Budget
I’ve decided to present the USG budget in parts because (as you probably can already tell) I am a bit long-winded and this would be a very long one blog post. More importantly I want you, the reader, to have time to digest and understand our budget and ask me questions about each part.
That said, I beg you to comment on each blog post if you have any questions, comments, concerns. Anything at all! I want to have an open dialogue about it and I want to answer your questions and give you the information you want to to know. To reiterate from what I mentioned earlier in this post, I am posting these budgets to avoid any rumors and misconceptions about how and why the USG Budget is organized the way it is, so please ask me any questions that come to mind.
I look forward to your comments!
President of USG 2015-2016