Campus faces budget cuts despite student leaders effort

The budget for the year 2018- 2019 has been passed by the Associated Students of Cerritos College. It was discussed and amended by senate over the course of three meetings and was unanimously approved on May 2.

ASCC Vice President David Ramirez said, “Honestly, I am happy that the process is over.” However, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the budget saying that it was, “really hard” to cut funding from clubs and organizations.

The reason for the reduction in funding was that ASCC was, “coming down from $1.6 million to a $1.3 million budget.”

ASCC Vice President-elect Christopher Rodriguez shared the same sentiments and said, “The way I see it, this was a lot of hard work from the budget committee I appreciate what they have done and I am just happy that the senate got through it.”

According to the adopted budget, student activities were reduced by about $35,000. Organizational programs including academic departments, committees and clubs had budget cuts of about $335,000, and student services were downsized by almost $341,000.

Student Trustee-elect Phil Herrera said, “It’s just unfortunate where we put ourselves as far as what kind of money we had to work with this year and the kind of money that we spent for other extra things throughout the year.”

In terms of the budget cuts, Ramirez said, “I wouldn’t really say that the cuts were outrageous I would say that they were necessary and fair.

Herrera explained that the reason for finances running short is due to many legislations being passed the fall semester and not having the future in mind.

Herrera said, “You are looking at this account that you are supposed to be helping the students with and so at the beginning of the semester when the account looks really huge and you have to distribute and allocate it, it seems like, ‘Yeah, why shouldn’t we?’”

He continued to say that it is at the end of the semester when, “frugality comes in and everyone is trying to figure out how we are going to fund some $4,000 project when at the beginning of the semester $4,000 doesn’t seem like anything.”

Ramirez explained that coming into meetings “and tie a face to the picture” would help with funding and that “we need the clubs or departments that we fund to come out because at the end of the day anything that happens to our funding gets passed down you know like trickle-down cutting.”

Herrera believes that it is the responsibility of senators and other student leaders to be conscience of what is being funded because he believes that being entrusted with an income is “a privilege, not a right.”

Rodriguez said that even though the need to pull from reserves is projected it is something he is “trying really hard to avoid,” to ensure that following student leaders have enough funding for following semesters.

Ramirez said that even though the process was quick in comparison with other years, there was still room for improvement.

He said. “The only possible improvement is to have senators who do want to [discuss] an item show up the next meeting and not just pull things out and not show up.”

Ramirez concluded by saying that overall he was happy even though he wished he could have done more to fund clubs.