July 21, 2019 | 92° F

RUSA budget, sizeable funded by student fees

When advocating for his bill that would pay certain members of Rutgers University Student Assembly, Sam Clark, who serves as RUSA's parliamentarian, argued that money for his proposal would not come from student fees and would not negatively affect other student organizations. That is simply not true.

The entire budget of RUSA — over $146,000 for the year — is funded by student fees. Unlike other student organizations, however, their budget is approved outside of the allocations process. In fact, their budget is approved in its entirety before the Fall semester, as opposed to other student groups which must apply for allocations each semester. In addition, unlike the allocations process, their budget approval is not transparent. In fact, when I asked many members of RUSA, most did not know how large their budget was, how it got approved or how their budget is funded.

Because allocations is also funded by student fees, and the amount of money collected by student fees is itself limited, every dollar that goes toward the RUSA budget is a dollar that is not distributed to other organizations, many of whom have seen their budgets slashed by over 50 percent this semester. In contrast, not only has RUSA not seen any budget reductions, but their budget has actually grown when compared to last year.

I end with one final question to the Rutgers public: what do you feel you've gotten for your $146,000 this year?

Michael Guggenheim, Class of 2016, Eagleton Undergraduate Associate, Majoring in Political Science, Minoring in Modern Hebrew Language.

Michael Guggenheim

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