On Sunday, UPUA President Courtney Lennartz submitted a budget proposal for the 2012-2013 school year — which will distribute back to students almost $140,000 that is collected through the Student Activity Fee.
The University Park Undergraduate Association budget exists because students pay an extra fee as part of their tuition to support it. As such, the budget should be designed to represent the needs and desires of as many students as possible.
One of the biggest chunks of funding — $23,000 — will be used to continue the White Loop’s extended hours on weekend nights. This is a good decision, and the entire White Loop extension is an example of UPUA using their budget for a large project that affects many students.
It’s not clear that some of the other proposed initiatives would be as useful or a good use of funding.
A website listing the housing options for students who want to live off-campus is set to cost $6,000. Another $2,000 would go to purchasing televisions at bus stops that would display the location of each bus.
There are already many websites devoted to finding off-campus housing. And CATA’s bus schedules are available at every stop, online and through a mobile phone application.
Instead of adding more services that may never get off the ground and may not be used by many students, UPUA should designate a sizeable portion of its budget to individual student groups.
Student groups organize events that are important to the student body and sometimes struggle to support their ideas. Rather than having UPUA decide what students need, it should save a portion of the budget to be used by student groups that wish to partner with UPUA next year.