Readership Program excess funds shifted

Story by Alex Zank, Chief Copy Editor

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A large surplus in the Readership Program on campus resulted in a shift from its carryover account to the student senate carryover in a bill proposed and passed on Monday.

The Readership Program’s carryover exceeded $125,000, which resulted from over-allocation in the past to the program.

The amount of $120,000 was moved to the senate carryover account after Tyrel Zich, chief of staff, motioned to suspend the rules and vote on the bill the same night it was introduced.

The bill was passed by voice vote.

Bryan Larson, finance commission director, said the excess funding was a result of past imperfections of adequate record-keeping as well as changes made to the program.

“Essentially we had been overestimating … how much we need to fund the program,” Larson said.

The Readership Program is what provides three different newspapers daily to students. Copies of the New York Times, USA Today and the Leader-Telegram are located in large blue containers
throughout campus.

The first year of the program did cost as much as anticipated, Larson said, which then provided a base number of estimation for future years.

“Also, we think there is a considerable amount of savings due to the fact that … students have to swipe their Blugold card to get access to the newspapers,” Larson said.

This was one of the changes made to the program. It was brought about because Senate members noticed a lot of faculty and staff taking the papers, Zich said.

“They are not supposed to get them because we (students) pay for them through student segregated fees,” he said.

Zich said some other savings come from the fact that the program only charges for the papers actually taken out of the containers.

Previous senatorial sessions were not being as diligent as they could have as far as keeping track of program expenditures, Larson said, which is something he said this session is trying to improve on.

“What this senate has been all about is … accountability,” Larson said. “This year we have been looking into issues like this vigorously; that’s why we found this number (in the Readership carryover).”

The addition of this money to the Senate carryover account, which has been lower than in the past, could affect the makeup of the finance budget.

“Where we’ll see the impact is in our budget for next year, particularly how much we charge for (segregated) fees … And that’s really where we’re going to be able to see these savings” essentially making college cost less for students, Larson said.

“That’s where they are going to see this impact. That’s … the goal of the commission.”

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