DASB Senate votes to cover deficit with reserve fund

The DASB Senate voted Feb. 22 to use $55,000 from its reserve fund to cover the the 2017-18 budget deficit.

The reserve fund has $400,000 left.

The budget allocates nearly $1.3 million for DASB programs and activities, and an additional $38,000 for advocacy activities through the Student Representation Fee.

After the finance committee made a recommendation, the DASB Senate has been discussing amendments to that budget for the past month. One meeting was canceled due to a lack of quorum.

Neither DASB President Matthew Zarate nor vice president Stephanie Rigsby was present for the final budget meeting, the former citing personal reasons.

Senators expressed their frustration with the long process during a discussion about allocating $400 for Flea Market refreshments.

“Can we get things done?” Senator Victor Lim said. “It’s just $400, and we’re wasting 15 minutes here. There’s so much money. Can we be more productive?”

“There’s mass confusion. What are you guys doing?” DASB Faculty Advisor John Cognetta asked.

When the senators discussed the reserve, Cognetta warned them about taking too much.

“Future senates are going to be tapping into your reserve in the next five years,” Cognetta said. “We are in a downward spiral of enrollment … don’t take everything out of the reserve and leaving future senates in the dry here, because they’re going to need some of that money to get over this hump.”

Not all senators looked at the long-term like Cognetta. Tal Globus, computer science major, chair of finance candidate, asked what the Senate was doing to prevent this problem in the future, and senator Faris Waiteasa said it was not their problem.

“This is our year’s problem, that’s for your year to solve,” Waiteasa said. “We’re trying to cushion it for 2017-2018, but you’ll be dealing with 2018-2019’s problem. That’s not our jurisdiction to decide.”

The senate voted to cut $15,000 from the tutoring center’s student payroll, with four senators abstaining from the vote because of a conflict of interest. They continued with cuts to the athletics playoffs account, and officials and fees account, noting that they could request funding from the special allocations budget.

The senate balanced the budget with a final set of cuts to the special allocations budget after Cognetta pointed out that it usually has money left over at the end of the year.

The budget will go through a final round of voting in the DASB Senate before being presented to the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees for approval.