Privilege Fee Committee recommends decrease to Wildcat Watch

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The Privilege Fee Committee recommended a $21,990 decrease to the Wildcat Watch allocation Monday night. The allocation funds operations and equipment.

Wildcat Watch provides video editing and production services for Kansas State students, groups and organizations at no cost. These services include live-streamed events such as promotional, recruitment and instructional videos along with original programming.

The entity has partnered with Wildcat Dialogues, the Student Governing Association, K-State Today, Cats’ Cupboard, the Manhattan Arts Center among other student organizations, K-State colleges and student events

Creative director and senior in mass communications Kylie Ledford said Wildcat Watch operates as a Department Student Organization under the Division of Communications and Marketing and employs 15 to 20 students.

“We have students in the journalism program, business school, English department, computer science — lots of different parts of the university,” Ledford said.

Tyler Traxson, advisor and video production manager, requested $45,000 annually for the next three fiscal years — $30,000 for the operations budget and $15,000 for the equipment budget.

“Student salaries make up for most of the operating budget,” Traxson said. “Other things within the operating budget are professional services and transportation.”

The equipment budget consists of computer hardware and computer software and audio and video equipment replacements.

The allocation took a 36 percent decrease after last fall’s insufficient funds callbacks.

For the next three-year cycle, the committee recommended a 40 percent decrease to the operations budget and a 67 percent decrease to the equipment budget. This recommendation will give operations $18,000 and equipment $5,000.

Wildcat Watch has a roll-over balance of just under $18,000 for fiscal year 2021, and JW Wells, student senator and sophomore in agricultural economics, said the 67 percent decrease to the equipment budget will still allow the entity to function properly.

He said Wildcat Watch will have enough wiggle room to get by, and the given amount of money will allow for equipment repairs if needed.

“We’re not trying to strangle or prevent any growth, but we’re also trying to cut [the budget] down as close as we possibly can,” Ashley Grills, committee member and sophomore in business administration, said. “I think we’re still providing [Wildcat Watch] quite a few funds.”

The recommendations for both line items passed unanimously.

The next Privilege Fee Committee meeting is 5:30 p.m. March 22 in Wildcat Chamber.

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My name is Sean Schaper, and I'm the news editor for the Collegian. I’m a junior in journalism with a secondary focus in film studies. I grew up right outside of Kansas City in Leawood, Kansas. As a first-generation K-Stater, I look forward to leaving behind accurate coverage for the current and future Wildcat community.