ASLMU approves spring budget, increases funding to Menstrual Hygiene Initiative and ASLMU elections

Monday, February 15, 2021

Photo: Christina Martinez
ASLMU approves spring budget, increases funding to Menstrual Hygiene Initiative and ASLMU elections

By Christina Martinez

On Jan. 24, at its first meeting of the semester, the ASLMU Senate voted on and approved a revised budget that cuts funding for in-person programs impacted by COVID-19 and redistributes them toward previously established projects.

As reported by AGENCY in November, ASLMU’s fall budget was approved under the assumption that the Spring 2021 semester would have in-person classes or at least run on a hybrid model, and ASLMU Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Isabella Ramin said that she had planned to reallocate portions of the budget elsewhere once LMU finalized their Spring instruction plans.

The approved budget proposal redistributes what remains of ASLMU’s $500,000 yearly budget toward different projects for the Spring 2021 semester.

$20,000 will be reallocated to the Menstrual Hygiene Initiative, which was launched in Jan. 2020. Prior to LMU’s shift to online learning in March, the ASLMU-funded pilot program placed period product dispensers in seven bathrooms on campus.

According to information released in the Spring 2020 semester, ASLMU’s original plan was to “conduct listening sessions and launch student surveys to collect data that will help secure funds for the second phase...a full-scale, university-funded free-product program.”

Ramin says that the increase will allow ASLMU’s program to cover more bathrooms on campus when LMU returns to in-person instruction.

“This initiative is very important to this year's administration, and we hope to expand it for when we are able to go back on campus,” she said.

Another $7,500 was appropriated towards the ASLMU Elections Committee. According to the ASLMU Elections LEO page, the duties of the committee are “to recruit candidates to run for the positions of President, Vice President and Senator [in ASLMU], as well as encourage the entire undergraduate community to vote.” 

According to Ramin, these new funds will be utilized for the Election Committee’s “rebranding and [Committee] member stipends.”

The Elections Committee will have 150% more funding than previously budgeted., The revised budget comes during the Elections Committee’s recruitment period; ASLMU is currently accepting applications for upcoming student government elections.

To account for these reallocations, cuts were made to general administrative costs, the Vice President’s discretionary fund, the Senate administrative fund, and overall student programming.

“The majority of funds were cut from [ASLMU’s] in-person events that were originally planned for the Spring Semester,” said Ramin, referring to past programs such as Waiting Out Traffic.

There were no budget cuts or increases to the other discretionary funds, salaries of paid ASLMU officers, or the Student Activity Fee Allocation Board (SAFAB).

A new summarized budget breakdown of all branches and initiatives of ASLMU was provided to the Senate at the Jan. 24 meeting as follows:

  • Salaries & Wages - $53,500

  • General Administration - $32,921

  • President - $7,500

  • Vice President - $10,000

  • Chief Financial Officer - $150,500

  • Chief Communications Officer - $500

  • Chief Programming Officer - $188,829

  • Cabinet Historic Initiatives - $43,000

  • Senate Administration - $500

  • Elections Committee - $12,500

  • Judiciary - $250

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