Tag Archive: budget

  1. YCC budget shows rise in Spring Fling costs

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    The Yale College Council finalized the details last month of its roughly $380,000 budget for this academic year.

    This year, YCC revenue consists of last year’s $42,783 surplus, a $40,000 grant for Spring Fling and funding through the Student Activities Fee amounting to $297,375. In sum, the budget is approximately $20,000 larger than it was last year. Spring Fling alone takes up about 78 percent of the total budget.

    But while Spring Fling is the single largest event hosted by the YCC annually, the council is looking to put the remaining portion of the budget toward more community-focused initiatives, including the Campus Events Fund and the Community Fund. While many budget lines stayed the same over last year, Spring Fling funding increased by roughly $21,000. Still, the percentage of the budget set aside for Spring Fling remained the same, said YCC Events Director Lauren Sapienza ’18. Sapienza added that because more students attended Spring Fling last year and may again this year, greater security measures are needed to keep up with the volume of attendance.

    The Spring Fling fund pays not only for the artists’ booking fees, but also for the costs of Spring Fling security and set production. The exact amounts paid to each artist cannot be released due to privacy agreements, Sapienza said, adding that talent costs increase steadily regardless of whether the act’s popularity has increased. This rise in cost was covered in part by the 2015 increase in the Student Activities Fee from $75 to $125 per student.

    YCC Finance Director Zach Murn ’17 said the YCC Events Committee kept its budget the same as last year, as they had spent precisely what they were allocated. Murn added that the YCC aimed to pass the budget as smoothly as possible.

    “We wanted to pass the budget at our first [budget] meeting to make financial planning more straightforward and efficient,” Murn said.

    However, not all proceeds from the expanded SAF went toward Spring Fling. YCC President Peter Huang ’18 noted that the Yale College Dean’s Office allocated other parts of the SAF to the Undergraduate Organizations Committee, which will reallocate the money to student groups in the form of administrative, event or publication grants. The total funds available from the SAF depend on the number of students who enroll at Yale each academic year.

    Murn said that the Spring Fling Committee requested an increase in funding relative to last year. Murn also cited a “notable increase” in attendance relative to that of previous years — over 7,000 people attended Spring Fling last year. The YCC has also commissioned a student research team that will analyze and compare revenues and expenditures of student governments from other Ivy League schools in order to determine whether an additional increase in the SAF would be necessary in the near future, he said.

    Already, the YCC is aware of a significant difference: Unlike similar events at other schools, Yale’s Spring Fling does not charge admission, which is a source of revenue for other student governments to cover costs.

    “We feel strongly that Yale parties should be as open and as inclusive to everyone,” said Murn. “So we don’t generate revenues from ticket sales, which might create a dynamic of who can afford to go to Spring Fling and who can’t.”

    While Spring Fling occupies much of YCC’s budget, the remaining 22 percent of the budget funds all the other YCC initiatives the council is seeking to bolster. Around $18,500 goes toward the Community Fund, which includes the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior Class Councils, the Yale Society Initiative — an organization of undergraduates and alumni that aims to reform senior societies — and the recently created New Ideas Fund. Each class council receives $3,500 to fund events such as Freshman Screw, Freshman Barbecue, Sophomore Crush and Box Night. The New Ideas Fund, which is $6,600, will ideally be distributed at a rate of $1,000 to $1,500 per approved student idea, said YCC Student Life Director Nicolas Zevallos ’19.

    According to Sapienza, the over $55,000 Campus Events Fund will cover events throughout the semester, such as Hoedown, the Taste of New Haven Workshops and study breaks. The YCC’s budget approval process also involves a system of internal checks to ensure each year’s budget fairly distributes funding to all parts of the YCC.

    “If the council isn’t happy with how the finance director divided up funds, representatives can request changes. For example, this year, the representatives petitioned for our New Ideas Fund, which was not on the original budget but which was subsequently added before it passed the council vote,” said YCC Vice President Christopher Bowman ’18.

    All YCC bodies affected by budgetary decisions, including the class councils and various committees, are included in budget conversations to make sure funds are allocated with as much responsibility and fairness as possible, said Bowman.

    Last year’s Spring Fling headliner was the singer Janelle Monáe.

  2. What would do with $51 Million? Part 2

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    With the recent news about the University’s budget surplus, students all over campus are thinking about how we could put that money back into the University in order to best serve students and set the college in good financial shape for next year. You saw a few of our ideas in last week’s Doubletruck (http://yaledailynews.com/weekend/2014/11/07/what-would-you-do-with-51-million/) but alas, none of them passed President Salovey’s desk. But WKND’s mother always said: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Without further ado, here are the next best six ideas:

     

    1: A Second Harkness Tower Made Entirely out of Legos

    The going price for 100 2×4 Lego bricks is about $20. That means we can buy 255 million bricks. The tower is 266 feet tall and about 40 feet wide. That’s 7,112 bricks high and 383 bricks wide in length, 766 bricks wide in width. If it’s a pure column (we know what we’re talking about), that’d take over 2 billion bricks, which is over “budget,” so let’s say that we can eliminate three-fourths of the bricks by making it hollow and tapering it at the top, while still having enough to be structurally sound. And saving room for another set of absurdly loud bells.

    2: Wenzels for Everyone!

    Let’s say every Yale University student wants one Wenzel delivered each day at 1:00 a.m. until we run out of money. For each of our 12,223 undergrad and postgrad students, that’s 568 days straight of salty, spicy goodness.

    3: The Longest, Lil Wayne-est, Expensivest Spring Fling Ever

    Lil Wayne charges about $300k for, let’s say, a three-hour show. That’s $100k per hour. That means that, pending labor laws, we can hire him to perform 16-hour days from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at $1.6 million a day. We can do this for a solid month for $49.6 million. The other $1.4 million can be used for setting up the stage ($20k) and footing the bill for his cocaine habit ($1.38 million).

    4: Beat Harvard at the Other Game

    No matter how The Game turns out, we’ll still have a trick up our sleeve. Come February 1, our friends in Cambridge may change the channel when we buy six minutes and 22 seconds of ad time during the Super Bowl to promote the Yale Dramat’s new, avant-garde production on the depravity, the decline and the fall of Harvard.

    5: A Whole Lot of Excellent Sheep

    Farmer’s Weekly estimates the price of a heavy sheep at $156.36. That means we can buy 326,170 sheep, or roughly three sheep per New Haven resident. Deresiewicz would be proud.

    6: Fiscally Responsible Reinvestment and Improvements

    Booooooring.

  3. Across-the-board reductions avoided for FY 2014

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    The University budget for the 2014 fiscal year likely will not require “across-the-board” reductions, newly appointed Provost Benjamin Polak said in a Thursday memo to University faculty and staff.

    Fiscal year 2014 will mark the second year since the 2008 financial crisis that Yale has not implemented University-wide budget cuts. Though Polak said the budget outlook is better than in the past, he acknowledged that it is not yet “sustainable” since annual expenses remain higher than annual revenues. Polak added that the current version of the budget plan — which will be finalized later this spring — does not have the flexibility to fund the new needs and initiatives that are necessary to “keep Yale at the forefront of teaching and the advancement of knowledge.”

    Polak said the 2013-’14 budget plan relies on one-time measures, including the use of reserve funds in both specific schools and departments and general University accounts.

    In order to plan the budget effectively, Polak said he intends to maintain the policies that President-elect and former Provost Peter Salovey put in place last year to promote transparency, including the use of faculty leadership on the University Budget Committee.

    The process and guidelines for the planning of the fiscal year 2014 budget will be similar to that of previous years, Polak said, adding that he will begin meeting with deans, directors and faculty members soon before presenting the budget to University President Richard Levin later this spring.

  4. State budget deficit grows to $415 million

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    State Comptroller Kevin Lembo increased the state budget deficit estimate to $415 million on Monday in his monthly letter to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, marking an even larger deficit estimate than previously reported.

    In his last monthly report issued on Nov. 1, the comptroller estimated that the state was short $60 million. But, by mid-November, Malloy’s Budget Director Ben Barnes increased that estimate to $365 million, setting off a round of mandatory cost-cutting procedures in the governor’s office and legislature.

    Malloy announced nearly $170 million in cuts on Nov. 29 across a wide gamut of state agencies to close part of the gap. The rest of the projected deficit at the time – nearly $200 million – will be reached in a legislative agreement during a special session before Christmas Day. For now, the legislature will have to find over $100 million in additional cuts.

    In addition, Lembo warned that the projected deficit could grow even larger between now and the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

    “Projected state spending above budgeted levels, and the slow pace of national economic recovery are impeding the state’s ability to bring the budget into balance,” Lembo wrote in his monthly report.