Correction appended: Oct. 11, 2012.
After discussing information gathered over the summer by the former chairmen of the dissolved UPUA Commission on the University Budget, plans are in place to discontinue auditing the university budget.
University Park Undergraduate Association Vice President Katelyn Mullen (junior-supply chain and information systems) met two weeks ago with At-Large Representative Elias Warren and Off-Campus Representative Anthony Christina, who were formerly in charge of the commission, but lost their positions when the commission was dissolved because of communication issues.
“We didn’t want [the budget commission] to think that what they were working on was useless,” Mullen said. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to come and meet because I don’t think it is fair to disband the commission [and disregard the work done by its members].”
At the budget commission meeting on Sunday night, plans were discussed to discontinue having students audit the budget, Mullen said, saying it’s “not feasible” for students to be in charge of auditing the budget.
The UPUA Commission on the University Budget was originally created to research the university budget in order to see where student and taxpayer money was being spent, as previously reported.
In September, UPUA executives said the budget commission would be overseen by the executive committee, rather than chaired by representatives. Now, Mullen said, the commission will abandon its original plan of auditing the budget and will refocus on making the budget information more clear for students.
Instead of auditing the budget, the commission will focus on elaborating and expanding upon information and making the website easier to understand.
“We want to continue looking at the budget, but also change the aesthetics in what would make it easier to read,” Mullen said.
From there, Mullen said the commission will focus on what other information needs to be elaborated and expanded upon.
Sam Cove, a Master of Accounting Programs student who was on the commission previously, said the idea of students auditing the budget themselves seemed like a farfetched goal considering the members involved were also trying to balance full-time class schedules.
However, Warren said he believed the old commission could have gotten far in the process of auditing the budget.
“Given time, I think we could have made some strides in the auditing,” Warren (junior-management) said. “We as students deserve to know everything because we are mostly the ones footing the bill. We all have a right to know where that money goes.”
In order to make sure the changes are made before the new budget comes out, Mullen said she is planning on having a meeting with Senior Vice President of Finance and Business David Gray by the end of the semester.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly portrayed UPUA Vice President Katelyn Mullen’s stance on the dissolution of the budget commission. Mullen felt it would be unfair to disregard the work done by the members of the commission, but she agreed with disbanding it. Additionally, in saying “we didn’t want them to think what they were working on was useless,” Mullen was referring to the entire budget commission. The above article reflects the correct information. The Daily Collegian apologizes for this error.