AS President Miscalculated Budget, Needs to Fit in an Additional $349,000 to be Valid   Leave a comment

The way the article is written is really quite confusing. The Guardian did all the research, I’ll try to make sense of it.

The AS President, Ms. Wafa Ben Hassine, has received coarse treatment from The Guardian since her election, which I’ve noted before. One of the duties of the office of the AS President is to propose the annual executive budget, and gets $2.9 million(!) to decide who gets what. Annual requirements of the budget include two things Ben Hassine’s first budget left out:

  1. Council Stipends- the money people on student council get paid ($116,752.87)
  2. Effective Employee Benefit Rate- the money paid to non-student staffers ($145,016.43)

That adds up to $261,769.30 left out of the first budget, which totaled $2,487,648.04. That would bring the budget up to $2,749,417.34 when including items 1 and 2. Furthermore,  “there is a typical overallocation of $150,000” which the Guardian doesn’t seem to factor into the calculations. The Guardian said her first budget overallocated by $464,374.76, but you can’t get that number by adding the previous figures mentioned in the article.

After the first budget was rejected, a second one was proposed. It included:

  1. An expanded Council Stipend totaling $117,383.33.
  2. (Incorrectly) an additional 250 students worth of fees totaling $30,031.64.
  3. (Incorrectly) an additional $52,000 in something called “Short-term investment pool” money.
  4. No Effective Employee Benefit Rate (So, assume the same $145,016.43)

My calculations say that since the Council Stipend was included, only the last three would count against Ben Hassine as overallocation and this would come out to $227,048.07. Says the Guardian, “This draft had an overallocation of $349,389.97.” I’m going to go ahead and guess these numbers came from AS directly and that the approximately $350,000 figure is correct. But adding up the figures the Guardian provides does not give you that number, making it very confusing to read.

Again, I have no reason to refute the charge that President Ben Hassine needs to fit almost $350,000 into her budget by next week. She f**ked up bad by not including the Council Stipend and the EEBR in her budget when it was her responsibility to know they were to be included. That’s some surgical-grade stupidity. Now other AS senators and officers are bashing her and the Guardian is writing unintelligible news articles as well as Op/Ed hit pieces.

Wafa’s off to a rough start and probably isn’t feeling too hot right now. Hopefully it gets fixed and the budget is approved by next week, but her AS government and the Guardian aren’t going to forget this. She seriously needs to step up her game. I hope it’s heartening that most students really don’t care about AS at all and won’t ever pursue more information on this, so it’s not like she’ll be pelted by rotten produce on Library Walk.

She didn’t know she was supposed to put the Council Stipend and Effective Employee Benefit Rate in the budget, so it got rejected. On her next try, she put in the Stipend, but not the EEBR and fudged a few numbers to make it look like she’d have more revenue when that wasn’t true (See: Obama administration). Now she’s on her third try, down to her last strike probably and her credibility within the sphere of AS is fading fast. So she’ll figure out the $350,000 and it’ll make a great law school application essay written from her point of view. Screw up, fix it, distort the story to benefit yourself. It’s not that big a deal.

Haters are going to hate. The ones printing publications about it aren’t doing a very impressive job. They’ll say the same about you, but that’s how it goes. Fix your screw up and fade back into anonymity, and remember this. Nobody misses Utsav Gupta.




Posted October 14, 2010 by Wada in UCSD

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