Senate asks to resolve security funding
Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm in News
Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution Tuesday to resolve funding and communication issues between USGâs Program Board and universityâs administration.
After the implementation of new security measures this January, the univeresity requires Program Board to allocate more money for security. This has resulted in higher costs for Program Board to put on events, such as the free concerts students enjoy each year. These higher security costs cut into Program Boardâs budget and its ability to hire performers, according to Program Board.
Program Board Director Juan Espinoza said the costs of extra security measures hinder Program Boardâs ability to put on events for students, potentially leading to a lack of student participation. Without the measure in place, funds for the additional security would come straight from the Program Boardâs student programming budget.
âThere should be a culture of participation at USC and things shouldnât be shut down because we canât afford fencing or security,â Espinoza said. âIf the university wants to create these new security and fencing policies, then I think that the university should start contributing funds to that. We shouldnât need to spend student programming funds to support these extraneous policies that the university created.â
Furthermore, Espinoza believes these new measures and a lack of university cooperation with Program Board have already directly affected Program Boardâs ability to hire performers for student events.
âSometimes, we get an opportunity where thereâs a cool speaker or band who wants to come to campus in three weeks, but we canât make that happen because the university doesnât allow it or canât be flexible to it,â Espinoza said. âWe have to go through this huge bureaucracy that doesnât let us do the best things for students sometimes, and thatâs just not fair.â
Lamar Gary, the executive director of the Black Student Assembly, said the extra costs have already forced organizations to cancel their events because they cannot afford the cost of security.
âAt the start of the semester, a Womenâs Student Assembly event was canceled because it did not meet the security requirements,â Gary said. âWith this resolution, events like this can happen. Each organization, including Concerts Committee, the Black Student Assembly and the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly, will be able to reallocate their budget to spend more on programming expenses rather than paying for additional security.â
This new resolution encourages student input in the creation of policies that affect student programming. The resolution stipulates that the university requires a more comprehensive and flexible programming process, as well as contribute funds to Program Board to cover the costs of extra security and fencing.
The resolution was drafted by residential senators Sarah Loh and Jasmine McAllister.
Students agree that the student programming funds should be put toward putting on events for students, not toward adhering to university policies. Molly Barber, a sophomore majoring in business administration, said social events are important for creating a sense of student community.
âThe university should be supporting events for students because events are great ways for students to come together,â Barber said. âI get that security for events is important, but if the costs of security are preventing events from happening, then there isnât any point for the increased measures in the first place.â
Espinoza said he hopes that the university will respond to the resolutionâs passage and help Program Board with its events.
âThe resolution sends a message to the administration and I hope they listen,â Espinoza said. âIf the university were to be responsive, it would help us have more funds to work on programs if they are to cover the increased security … it would also be helpful to be included in the process of policy changes because we are the most impacted by these policies, and weâre rarely taken into consideration.â