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Associated Student Government, what you need to know

Palomar elected student representatives are in charge of implementing programs and activities for students through an annual budget of $30,000.

The ASG serve on various committees to ensure that the student voice is heard within the Palomar administration. In addition, they provide services and host events such as Spring Fest and Diversity Day.

Two-term ASG President Malik Spence stated, “there are many constituent groups on campus, the biggest one would probably be the students and that’s pretty much the ASG’s job, we’re supposed to be the student representatives.”

The ASG is comprised of executive members, such as President Spence and Vice President Chris Hopp, as well as senators and delegates who serve on a variety of committees and councils [Latest update on how many members are active coming on Friday].

Armando Contreras serves on the ASG as senator and chairman for the Interclub Council (ICC), “I’m advocating for all the clubs, all the events related to clubs and all of their activities are referred to us. I have little input but if they want some major decisions then they come to me and I show it to the ASG,” said Contreras.

These major decisions predominantly revolve around providing guidance to any of the clubs who are having conflict with either one another, or within itself.

Included in the ASG meetings, although not a member, is their advisor Sherry Titus, often referred to as “Sherry Titus in all of her glory” by ASG members. Because students only stay at Palomar for around two years, the ASG roster is continuously being reshaped. One of Titus’ jobs as advisor is to keep the members in line with ASG bylaws, as well as state and federal laws.

“My role is to assist them when they request help. I can offer insight on some topics (since typically students move through in 2-3 years) and I can share historical information for incoming student representatives,” Titus said through email.

ASG meetings are held on Fridays from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. One of the typical items on the agenda for these meetings is the approval of funds for any required maintenance in the SU Quad.

The 2016-2017 budget for the ASG is $128,900. Funding for the ASG comes from several sources, one of them is Fund 71, also known as the Associated Student Trust Fund, which is a set amount of $30,000 the ASG gets per year from the district.

The other is Fund 72, which varies because it comes from a $1 fee that students have the option of paying when they enroll in classes each semester. However, the fee will be increased to $2 next academic year. There are also restrictions on how the ASG is allowed to spend this money, it must be spent in such a way that it will be used to “represent the views of students with governmental bodies.” That often will mean traveling expenses to conferences which will allow the ASG to represent Palomar students. This year, the ASG received just under $30,000 from Fund 72.

The budget is overseen by ASG Financial Liaison and Senator Amber Bancroft, she is solely responsible for oversight on spending within the ASG.

“I’m supposed to say, ‘Hey don’t spend this money or you need to spend this better or you need to have some type of funding to match what your requesting.’” Bancroft said about her position. “At the end of the day I’m supposed to sit there and balance the books to make sure that we’re spending the money responsibly.”

The ASG spends these fund through various events, such as Spring Fest which is set to cost approximately $2,000 and various gifts throughout the year for students.

However, revenue from funds 71 and 72 are not the only contributing factors to the ASG yearly budget.

“We don’t spend every single penny when we’re conducting these events and when we’re granting monetary request, so those funds will be rolled over into the next year,” President Spence said. “We do try to [use this] money towards events so that we can put on better events for students throughout the year.”

The funds that have been collectively rolled into the current academic year amounts to $90,000, and based on the current budget plan they are expected to have around $93,000 surplus at the at the end of the year.

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