Governing council re-examines budget
The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Governing Council touched on recent student concerns yesterday, and hosted guest lectures from Director of the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, Peter Gillies and Nancy Winterbauer, the vice president for University budgeting.
Winterbauer presented the breakdown of the University's budget to a group of more than 30 students at the Cook Campus Center.
Winterbauer said the University's mission was to make the budget more transparent to students and their parents.
"She did it last year, and it was helpful to see where our money was going. ... She broke it down and explained where everything's being allocated," said Dayna Bertola, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior.
The University's budget and spending can now be viewed online through budgetfacts.rutgers.edu.
Direct state appropriations and benefit payments constitute 19.5 percent of the University's $2.1 billion annual budget. The state support remains essential to the University's educational mission as the University uses the funding for research and other classroom activities, according to the budgetfacts.rutgers.edu.
In addition to the budget, students addressed issues affecting both School of Environmental and Biological Sciences students and University students in general.
Bertola said she joined the council because she wanted to make it easier for the student voices to be heard on campus, something she feels the organization has accomplished in recent years.
"[For example] we were working on ... getting allotted housing for SEBS students on Cook. We just recently got that passed and that was like a three semester long battle," said Bertola, a member of the Governing Council's University Affairs Committee.
Another issue on campus she and the council worked on last year was to keep the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences graduation ceremony at Passion Puddle on Douglass campus, Bertola said.
"When Rutgers became a whole they kind of wanted to eliminate [the graduation at passion puddle]," Bertola said.
Zaid Abuhouran, the council president, said another issue affecting University students is the merger between Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University. The council has been addressing the issues behind the scenes through the University Affairs Committee.
"Some members of ours attended the last Board of Governors' meeting, and we've been in contact with representatives from Camden because we haven't taken an official stance yet, but many of us feel strongly against it," said Abuhouran, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior.
Abuhouran said the council also hopes to resolve the recent troubles concerning the University's relationship with the College Avenue grease trucks. The conflict may result in the trucks being removed from the lot they currently reside in to open space for other vendors.
"Many of us do not approve [of them being removed], and we are hoping to come to a resolution with the University that would protect some of the rights of the grease trucks," he said.
Abuhouran said members of the council view the grease trucks as a cultural icon and hope they are allowed to stay in their current location for nostalgic purposes.
"They're [a] University tradition," he said. "People go [to the grease trucks] to eat something that reminds them of when they were an undergraduate [student]. It brings alumni back, and we would like to see that tradition carry on and not be killed off."
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that 20 students were at the event and that a current SEBS initiative is to keep the graduation ceremony at Passion Puddle. There were 30 students at the event and the Passion Puddle initiative is from last year. Dayna Bertola is a member of the SEBS University Affairs Committee, not fairness committee.