Dominic Baez – Editor in chief. Although some clubs and organizations lost upwards of 43 percent of their budgets in an effort to cut $57,000 from the Associated Students of Linfield College’s annual budget, including ASLC general management’s and Linfield Activities Board’s accounts, others received more funds.
One of the largest increases was bestowed upon the Communications Board, which received an 18-percent raise in funds for the 2009-2010 school year.
The Communications Board members comprise The Linfield Review editor in chief, KSLC 90.3 FM general manager, Wildcat Productions executive producer and CAMAS editor.
The board, restructured last year for efficiency, meets monthly to discuss matters regarding campus media. It also manages its own budget, receiving a previously determined amount — 16 percent this year — from ASLC. Board members work together to decide how their funds will be divided.
“For the Comm. Board’s budget, we averaged the last five years of what [it] got, and it came to 16 percent,” senior Chris McIsaac, ASLC vice president of business and finance, said.
This year, the total budget for the board, $55,200, was split as such: The Linfield Review, $35,855.20 (although $11,600 is Review-generated revenue from advertising and subscriptions); KSLC, $25,393.80; Wildcat Productions, $2,487.50; and CAMAS, $1,961.
Last year, when the Communications Board still needed its budget approved by the Senate, the numbers were split: The Linfield Review, $27,448.25 (though $11,600 of that is from advertising and subscriptions); KSLC, $11,615.96; CAMAS, $1,961; and Wildcat Productions, $957.50.
The Linfield Review’s and KSLC’s budgets greatly differ from last year’s because stipends, which used to be dispersed from ASLC’s general management account, now come out of each group’s own budgets.
Some members of the Communications Board said they enjoy the extra leeway an increased budget provides.
“For KSLC specifically, the increase in budget has been helpful in getting our station up-to-date and a more workable and functioning environment,” junior Tracey Major, KSLC co-general manger along with junior Stacey Von Blom, said. “This increase has allowed us to begin the process of streaming online, which will be a major advantage for both KSLC and Linfield. It also gives the opportunity for out-of-state students to broadcast their shows to friends and family back home. We’re very happy with ASLC’s decision and plan to show them that we’ll put their money to good work.”
However, some, including members of this year’s ASLC Cabinet and Communications Board, believe this might not be the most efficient allocation of ASLC funds.
The current Cabinet did not plan the increase of the board’s budget, senior Ashlee Carter, ASLC president, said. Last year’s Cabinet decided that.
“After working on the budget, we found that it wasn’t fair at all that it got so much more when others had to take big cuts,” Carter said. “It can’t stay that way. We have to make it more realistic. We’ll have to come up with something before the end of the school year.”
McIsaac agreed and said that there is more that needs to be factored into this equation, though he said the idea was good in theory.
“It is like [the Comm. Board] almost has too much,” Carter said. “It’s not fair to other clubs and organizations that didn’t get that increase.”
Some board members agreed with this sentiment, though for different reasons.
“As a member of LAB, I think [LAB] could have used some of the money,” junior Lauren Funtanilla, CAMAS editor, said. “I think LAB makes a bigger impact, so it should get more money. More money equals bigger acts.”
Wildcat Productions President Ashley Swanson, while unaffected in most part by the budget increase, said it can serve a purpose.
“Wildcat Productions is on the smaller end of the budget scale, along with CAMAS and now The Oven, in comparison to the cost of The Linfield Review and KSLC, so the increase perhaps has a lower impact on us than others,” she said. “Not to say that the impact isn’t noticeable. This increase allows for growth, something all the media want to see happen.
“The rising costs of printing, equipment and licenses, coupled with keeping pace with technology, that 16-percent chunk is spread carefully,” she continued. “Perhaps the Comm. Board will start to think about saving some of that extra money for emergencies, such as equipment breaking, or for budget years that fall short of fulfilling basic needs. Personally, I’m hoping we can use the united power of the Comm. Board to help each other, to make Linfield more media in-depth. The pieces are at our fingertips, they just haven’t been puzzled out yet.”
Carter said she will meet with this year’s Communications Board in an effort to lower the set 16-percent budget that will be allocated to it next year.