United States Student Association defunded by the ACFC for the 2014-2015 year

In the midst of ASUO committees trying to hit the 3.5 percent budget cap, some committees are having to be merciless with during the budget hearing process. For the Athletics Contracts Finance Committee, that has come in the form of having to defund the United States Student Association for the 2014-2015 school year.

During the ACFC’s Feb. 18 budget hearing, the committee voted to not have a hearing with the USSA  since they missed the deadline on turning in funding paperwork.

“We voted not to hear the USSA because they hadn’t informed us about the possibility of missing their deadline,” ASUO Senator and ACFC board member Josh Losner said. “We’re keeping with a tight budget this year due to the cap, so we need to focus on the hearings that make the deadline.”

Corporate Secretary for USSA, Lamar Wise said that the problem with reaching the ACFC’s November deadline is that the USSA’s fiscal year doesn’t begin until January, meaning that the USSA wouldn’t have the proper information to fill out the paperwork until two months after the deadline.

“In January is when we have our board meeting to talk about the fiscal year, and I think Losner was upset with the alleged lack of communication that we gave the committee, even though we were pretty upfront about our timing issue beforehand,” Wise said. “If it doesn’t get passed, then there won’t be any representation from the UO on a national level. It’s important for UO, but also for Oregon, that we have representation on a national level in D.C.”

The USSA is the country’s largest and oldest student led organization that advocates for laws that help support students. The USSA is involved at the local and state level, but its most notable action takes place in Washington D.C. With the ACFC paying for the membership fees, every student at the UO becomes a member of USSA. The UO is one of the only universities in the country that has a direct membership contract with the students.

According to Wise, the USSA is looking to make an appeal to get a hearing.

“You can only appeal if there was something wrong with the process, or if you’re requesting a different dollar amount,” Wise said. “The basis of our new request is that we’re going to be asking for about half of our previous request in the hopes of having a positive conversation with the committee and the USSA.”

The USSA’s original request was $24,531, but the new amount that the group will be requesting to the ACFC is $10,000, according to the USSA budget request form.

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