ASI prepares recommendations for Task Force

Provost William Covino will announce the final decision regarding the budget
gap on Feb. 16. Associated Students, Inc. will meet on Feb. 15, to make the
final revisions on their recommendations on the matter.
James Ramirez / The Collegian

Meeting will be held at 11 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Satellite Student Union

While the Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Task Force gears up for its final revisions to close the looming budget gap, Associated Students, Inc. is assembling its own recommendation to present in hopes of making a difference.

After conducting a handful of previous meetings with the Task Force. Provost William Covino will be announcing the final decision regarding the recommendations on February 16. The most recent meeting took place on Monday.

ASI will meet to review resolutions with the Task Force on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Satellite Student Union, in what President Selena Farnesi referred to as the “last feedback day.”

“ASI will be meeting on the 15th and we’ll be going over everything that we’ve seen so far, all the recommendations that have been made and we’re going to finalize a resolution. We’ve been working on what we think the colleges should do what the provost should do,” ASI Senator Jaime Moncayo said. “The core principle of our resolution was don’t dissolve these colleges, and now that’s been taken off the table.”

Moncayo added that ASI will be voicing its concern regarding the possible elimination of majors, not allowing some students to graduate. Moncayo said that he was told by Covino that the Education Code of California wouldn’t allow the final recommendation to include this aspect anyway.

Moncayo spoke on behalf of ASI saying that this year’s recommendations are “mild” and that he doesn’t anticipate any drastic shifts — at least not right now.

“For now we’re all OK with these budget recommendations,” Moncayo said. “Nothing’s too far-fetched like dissolving an entire college as they were recommending before. But things are just going to get worse. So, nowadays we can get by with these simple recommendations of shuffling everybody around, but at some point we’re just not going to have enough money.”

Senator Jennifer Harmon specifically noted ASI’s concern of possibly splitting the three core sciences Chemistry, Biology and Physics into two different colleges. But, like Moncayo, Harmon said ASI is more worried about the financial ramifications should a shift in these departments occur.

“A lot of our funds come from those donated specifically to the College of Science and Math, so we’re questioning whether those would still be accessed,” Harmon said. “Big funding, such as [National Science Foundation], [National Institute of Health], which might not recognize our chemistry programs if maybe we were under the College of Agriculture. We wanted to make sure our research is protected more than anything.”

Harmon added that merging programs under a particular name would also “question the integrity of our science programs that maybe they weren’t strong enough to stand up on their own.”

Lucien Nana, the ASI Senator for Math and Science, voiced similar concern with Harmon, saying that although classes might not change, per se, but public perception could diminish the programs’ images. Furthermore, Nana feared previous resources would cease to exist as well.

The overall message ASI will present, Nana said, is what the university’s focus will be on going forward.

“We are telling the provost that the university is an institution of higher learning, so that should be our priority no matter how tough the budget or tuition costs,” Nana said. “No matter what happens education should be the priority.”


Staff reporter Stephen Keleher also contributed to this article.

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