2015-16 Scribe budget faced challenges, changes

April 20, 2015

Scribe staff
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It only makes sense that The Scribe, which looks for transparency at UCCS, would be transparent during our own budget season.

As such, we have printed our 2015-16 budget and highlighted the key changes below.

But to back up: all of our funding, and the funding for several other organizations, come from student fees.

SGA has received three other budget proposals from organizations. The Radio budget request totals $25,605.43. The ROAR Operating budget request is $56,811.98. The ROAR External Projects budget request totals $3,655.

Our budget unanimously passed the budget advisory committee of SGA as well as the SGA Senate.

Overall, our goal was to streamline the way The Scribe is run. We eliminated or condensed several staff positions, and took responsibility for several facets of our budget that were previously funded through student fee money.

There are several elements of our budget that we would like to highlight.

1) Minimum wage in the state of Colorado changed, so we had to account for a 23 cent increase per hour for almost all our staff.

2) We lowered the hours for our copy editor and layout editor, and raised them for our photo editor. This is now a fairer time allocation for these three positions.

3) We changed the compensation for our reporters. Our reporters are currently paid one hour, or $8.23, per article. Considering our reporters spend 2-3 hours or more on stories, that was not fair compensation. So, we decided to raise that number to two hours per story, which affected the overall amount allocated for piecework.

4) We condensed our video editor and web editor into one position: media manager.

5) We took out several elements that were previously in our operating budget. We now feel comfortable enough with our ad revenue account to pay for those items ourselves, without student fee money.

6) In tandem with number five, we changed the amount for our printing. We feel that with our ad revenue taking on responsibility for additional elements, it is fair to ask for more printing money. We spend just less than $10,000 a school year on printing, leaving a fair amount for us to cover as well.

The final, and likely most visible, aspect that may jump out is the student benefits portion of our budget. Let us be clear: we do not ask for this benefit money out of choice.

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, any student employee that works over 25 hours per week is required to be allocated medical benefits, even if they don’t take them. As such, no UCCS student employee can work over 25 hours, except for the editor-in-chief of The Scribe.

That position earned an exemption (which has to be applied for every year). This was done for two reasons: the position cannot be accomplished in 25 hours a week, and the staff resources to have co-editors are not present at a school without a journalism program.

Regardless of if the student takes them, the total amount of medical benefits that have to be available for the editor-in-chief position is $10,325, because we cannot discriminate if an applicant for the position has dependent(s) at home.

The 2015-16 budget faced many challenges that did not previously have to be accounted for. But our goal of streamlining the budget to fairly allocate student fee money was not compromised.