Every new school year the Undergraduate Student Senate’s (USS) budget hinges on the enrollment numbers of the undergraduate school at Pacific University. With another year of enrollment dropping, what does that entail for the budget?
Senior and Undergraduate Student Senate President Katie Lightcap is one of many board members who helped balance and allocate the budget at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
“We use the budget to help fund clubs on campus and sponsor different events every year,” Lightcap said.
One of the other problems Lightcap said arose with the smaller budget is the ability to freely allocate the budget to places in need.
“Last year we had so many speaker requests we burned through that budget quickly and had to allocate more funds to it, but it wasn’t a bad problem to have. We had so many amazing guest speakers come to campus and cover so many topics.”
According to Lightcap, the area with the biggest financial dent is group and club projects.
“We always try to work with students first on their groups and clubs,” Lightcap said. “We make sure the clubs can get the funding they need and sometimes more if they are really helping benefit the community around here.”
Lightcap said the number one goal of the USS was to unify students, growing the community. The ideas for USS projects come from surveys students do at the end of each year. The USS will take student’s feedback and see what it can accomplish with the remaining money.
In the past, these projects have included the charging tables in the UC and the new decals around campus welcoming a wide variety of students coming from all walks of life. The projects also include various social events for the students on campus.
“We have been toying with many ideas, but one of the more popular ones right now is the possibility of renting out Starbucks during finals week after it closes one night and having a live guitarist play some music while students are studying later in the evening,” said Lightcap. “We would need the funds to pay the musician as well as two or three baristas to work and make drinks for everyone.”
The USS has also recently teamed up with campus facilities workers to get more lights around campus, which was a popular topic of feedback found in the annual surveys. The Undergraduate Student Senate is open to more ideas for projects and events and welcomes students to email with suggestions.
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