USG discusses funding

Tuesday night’s USG senate meeting featured presentations from the Student Leadership Fund and the Women’s Student Assembly, as well as a presentation for allocation of funds to USG’s Program Board.

USG Leadership Fund Director Julie Stripe reported an increase in organizations sponsored. The Leadership Fund typically sponsors advocacy groups and leadership seminars.

“The leadership fund has added 40 percent of new organizations, which is very good — it means that we’re getting the word out and organizations feel comfortable coming to us for funding,” Stripe said.

The Women’s Student Assembly presented next, announcing its upcoming event, “Take Back the Week.” The event will focus on issues of sexual assault and how to prevent them on campus.

“[Sexual assault] is a very sensitive issue, but it’s very critical considering the recent establishment of the White House task force,” said WSA Executive   Co-Director Carol Ciricao.

The White House was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to explore strategies for preventing sexual assault on college campuses.

Take Back the Week takes place next week on campus. WSA said that the event is to open all USC students.

USG Treasurer Kameron VanWoerkom ended the senate meeting with a presentation of the 2014 budget allocations for USG’s Program Board. The Program Board is an umbrella organization that organizes USG-sponsored groups and events at USC, most notably concerts such as Conquest and Springfest.

Though funding for spring 2014 is comparable to previous semesters, VanWoerkom believes the program funding charged alongside student tuition must eventually be raised to match inflation and rising tuition costs.

“We’re really lagging behind in programming fees,” VanWoerkom said. “I had someone email me the other day and say their funding was ‘inadequate.’ That really hurt.”

The programming fee, still $52 per student, has not changed since 2010. VanWoerkom believes that even a small increase could greatly increase the efficacy of Program Board funds.

“I don’t want to set an expectation, but if it increased by $3, we could keep all of the program boards funded and give the concerts a big headliner,” VanWoerkom said.

USG votes on the budget allocation next week.