ASI not responsible for funding hobbies

Jason Okamoto

One of Associated Students Inc.’s major responsibilitiescomes this time of year, when it approves the budget for thefollowing year. Now is when they decide what they are going to dowith their $9 million.

Pursuing this money are Sacramento State programs, internal ASIprograms and student clubs, most of which rely on ASI funds tooperate &- or so they say. All of these organizations serveSac State students in one way or another, but it’s always upfor debate how many of us benefit from them.

The Finance and Budget Committee, headed by Mohamed Hamada, sofar has put forth two budget proposals to the ASI board, and bothof them have stirred up controversy. Three controversial issuesstand out in each budget, the first of which revolves around SacState’s Peak Adventures.

Peak Adventures runs the bike shop, the challenge course andoutdoor recreational trips. The committee’s first budget hadcut Peak’s yearly allotment by $100,000, which is half of theprogram’s 2003-04 budget. Unhappy with this, Peak Adventuresrounded up its adventurers to scale the University Union and set upcamp in ASI’s board meeting three weeks ago.

After hearing stories about how Peak has given these adventurerstheir adventures, the board demanded a less severe change in thebudget. The next week’s budget proposal saw Peak being cutonly $47,000 &- preserving some of the adventurers’dismay.

Hamada said the bike shop and the challenge course are importantto this campus, but he doesn’t find importance in theoff-campus trips that have nothing to do with a student’seducation.

Frankly, neither do I; most of them are too expensive for manystudents and don’t necessarily build a better learningenvironment. I realize that some people get off on hiking, orriding bikes, or shooting ducks, but I don’t. I get off bywatching porn, and I would never in a million years expect ASI tomake adult movies more accessible to me off-campus. Especially whenit has nothing to do with school.

Another controversial budget issue is the committee’srefusal to take into account the board’s charge that $45,000be given to the Recreational Sports clubs. The committeedidn’t feel it was fair to give the Rec Sports clubs thatmuch money when it already receives money as a program.

Throughout my very long college career, Rec Sports has nevercrossed my path; I’ve never seen a Rec Sports game, andI’ve never been asked to join a Rec Sports team. MaybeI’m just bitter that no one ever thought I was athleticenough to participate, but then again, maybe I just think thatpickup games of ultimate Frisbee should have nothing to do with mycollege education.

The final issue &- concerning ASI’s Dollars forOrganizations and Clubs and Student Education Loans fund &- isnot as much of an “issue” as it should be.

A fund development committee should be examining this problem,but instead it chose to take a year off and let clubs beg formoney.

“DOC-SEL is for clubs to use as assistance, not as acrutch,” said ASI vice president of finance Luke Wood.

Even though most clubs rely on money from the ASI budget, someclubs actually raise money the old fashioned way: They earn it. Theski club and MEChA are two clubs that have had high expenses buthave earned considerable amounts of money. So why can’t otherSac State clubs and programs do the same?

Granted, students find a college life in certain programs andclubs, but if it means that much to them, then they should taketheir own time and money to preserve it. Throw a carwash, abakesale or a blood drive.

If it weren’t for The State Hornet, I don’t knowwhere I would be (except for maybe graduated). This paper has givenme a place where I feel I belong and I would do whatever it takesto see that this newspaper continues to do the same for futurestudents &- even if it meant throwing on a Speedo to washPresident Alexander Gonzalez’s car.

The board should take a hint from this year Finance and BudgetCommittee and give clubs and organizations a bit of tough love thatis long overdue.