The Privilege Fee Committee recommended a 2 percent decrease for the Union Program Council.
The fee review began with UPC requesting a continuance on their allocation of $211,243.
The UPC, which was established in 1956 in the K-State Student Union, organizes more than 150 events a year for Kansas State students. Beth Bailey, UPC adviser and assistant director of the Student Union, said the events are usually a mix of “anchor events” —which are the cornerstone events that continually have high-attendance —and other smaller events.
In addition to entertainment, UPC also collaborates with other groups for events. About $60,000 of the allocation is set aside specifically for the substance-free Union After Hours events.
Rajat Kodira, at-large committee member and junior in industrial engineering, said UPC does two things “exceptionally well” for the student body. One primary benefit, Kodira said, is emphasis on student involvement in a variety of scenarios, including continued partnerships with smaller student organizations. Additionally, Kodira said, UPC provides leadership opportunities outside of legislative and governing aspects, like Student Governing Association.
UPC generated $45,000 in surplus revenue from tickets from community members, artwork sales and other smaller sources. The budget for the current fiscal year as is now planned, Bailey said in an email to the committee, will spend-down that surplus.
As student senator Alec Hildreth, senior in marketing, pointed out at a committee meeting on Nov. 5, more than 60 of their events in a recent fiscal year had fewer than 50 students.
Hannah Heatherman, student senator and junior in business administration, said she goes “back and forth” on the number of events UPC holds. While she said she sees value in hosting a variety of events, she also said the sheer volume might be too much.
Natalie Jabben, student senator and sophomore in political science, said she thinks the variety and volume of events helps with student outreach.
Heatherman said she didn’t think a small decrease would bring a notable change in UPC’s on campus presence.
Madison Brown, vice chair of the committee and sophomore in finance, said she took issue with some of the items UPC spends “student dollars” on, specifically money from the budget allocated toward chips, sunscreen and bug spray for one of the three retreats they take a year.
Hildreth said he thinks the committee operates with too much money and that he supports a decrease.
“A decrease would allow them to use their money more wisely,” Hildreth said.
Riley Sleichter, at-large committee member and sophomore in biological systems engineering, moved to decrease UPC by 2 percent. That motion was not seconded.
Kodira moved for a continuance on the current budget. That motion was not seconded.
Heatherman moved to decrease UPC’s allocation by two percent over the next three years, amounting to slightly less than a 6 percent decrease in total.
Brown said she thinks that decrease, which would bring them to a budget of $194,843.82 three years from now, is too dramatic.
Heatherman amended the motion to a 3 percent decrease for the next fiscal year. The committee voted 5-6 in the negative.
Jabben moved a decrease for a flat decrease of 2 percent, recommending a budget of $207018.14. It was voted 8-4 in favor.
This recommendation will appear for first-reading before student senate on Nov. 29.