The Students? Association?s student activities budget for the 2001-2002 year has been proposed at $763,542.43, an increase from last year?s budget of $711,087.67.

The Student Activities Office received $101,461, ballooning from this year?s $62,730.

The increases are due largely to the new cost of the Wednesday UR Special buses, the continuing monthly ?bizzy? calendars and the increasing cost of ResTV movies, Director of Student Activities Rob Rouzer said.

?The biggest increase reflects a plan for the SAO to coordinate a new programming effort to create more consistent programming in response to the student comment ?There?s nothing to do,?? Rouzer said.

Many groups, such as Association for Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Friends Association, Off Broadway On Campus and UR Peace have seen sizable increases in their budgets, mostly due to new initiatives.

?Groups who have a tradition of doing more programming usually get more money,? junior and SA Treasurer Malik Evans said.

Other groups have seen small funding increases that reflect rising costs for existing programs. For example, the Interpres received more money this year because of increased printing costs.

Several new groups have received funding this year as well. These include the American Sign Language Club, Ballroom Dance, Mock Trial and Pep Band.

However, several groups did not submit budgets this year, including Coalition for Sexual Harassment and Awareness and the Coffeehouse Committee.

CASHA did not have enough executive board members to continue this year, as most of the senior members graduated last year. ?Our goal is to rebuild next year and have a core of executive members,? said president Lindsay Lefenfeld.

The Coffeehouse Committee has decided to become a subcommittee of UR Concerts.

The Filipino-American Students? Association, TV Club and Vietnamese Students? Association all saw sizable funding decreases because of a reduction in their activities this year.

Rouzer said that if the groups demonstrate new strength in leadership, they will be able to submit requests for supplemental funding next year.

Campus Activities Board, UR Concerts and Outside Speakers Committee have the largest budgets because these groups bring speakers and performances that are generally expensive.

The Campus Times, Black Students? Union, WRUR, Cinema Group, Debate Union, Hartnett Gallery and Spanish and Latino Students? Association also have sizable budgets because they offer fairly extensive programs or are also affected by performer costs.

However, majority of groups have budgets of less than $5,000 because their events are less expensive. For example, pre-professional groups typically receive only approximately $160 per year.

Groups that bring in a sizable income, such as UR Concerts, Cinema Group and the Campus Times, pay back their funds to the SA, helping to balance their budget.

The funds come from the $175 student activities fee, which each undergraduate pays at the beginning of the year.

?In theory, this is a zero-base budget process where each group must demonstrate the value of each program and justify all expenses,? Rouzer said.

?In practice and for practical reasons of time, most groups evaluate their past programs and base their budget requests on their previous budget,? he continued.?The appropriations committee is likely to approve budgets that are essentially unchanged as long as the group has been effective in following the previous budget and the senate has not raised any concerns about the group.

?Budgets given the most stringent review are those from groups with new initiatives or those that have demonstrated problems in leadership,? he said.

?We will never cut out traditional programs that have a successful track program,? Evans said.

The budget goes up for approval during the SA Senate meeting Monday.

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An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.