Indiana Daily Student

IUSG budget to include money for staff, $30,000 for COVID-19 Assistance Fund

<p>Rachel Aranyi, IU student body president, andRuhan Syed, IU student body vice president, have helped create a budget proposal that will provide $30,000 to create a COVID-19 assistance fund for IU Student Government staff. That fund is a part of a $164,709 total appropriation for IUSG’s 2021 fiscal year, according to a document released to the IDS last week.</p>

Rachel Aranyi, IU student body president, andRuhan Syed, IU student body vice president, have helped create a budget proposal that will provide $30,000 to create a COVID-19 assistance fund for IU Student Government staff. That fund is a part of a $164,709 total appropriation for IUSG’s 2021 fiscal year, according to a document released to the IDS last week.

IU Student Body Congress has approved a budget proposal that will provide $30,000 to create a COVID-19 assistance fund. That fund is a part of a $164,709 total appropriation for IUSG’s 2021 fiscal year, according to a document released to the IDS last week.

The 2021 fiscal year’s budget is significantly larger than budgets of past years. The 2018-2019 budget estimated $30,963 worth of expenses. This year’s budget appropriations are more than five times that, at almost $164,709. 

“We’ve created a whole new COVID task force within IUSG,” Student Body President Rachel Aranyi said. “We want to make sure that students are aware of what’s happening at the university. We want to analyze their policies, both from a public health angle, but also from an academic angle, to make sure that we are supporting students through this difficult time.” 

Another significant portion of the budget includes salaries for IUSG staff, something Aranyi said is long overdue.

Annie Aguiar

“Pretty much every other Big Ten university pays their student government,” she said. “In the past, IU student government representatives have received some form of compensation. In the past few years, that has not happened.”

This year will also mark the first time that IUSG has a Chief Technology Officer in the executive branch, Aranyi said. 

Student Body Vice President Ruhan Syed said compensating student government officials will contribute to a more equitable environment within IUSG.

“There are a lot of socioeconomic barriers to joining IUSG,” Syed said. “We expect a minimum of 10 hours for our directors. I am lucky enough that I am in the financial position to make that commitment, but there are other viable candidates out there who could be doing the same job as me who might have to work to support their family.”

Aranyi and Syed will both be given a stipend of $3,000. Elected officers and committee chairs in the Congress will be given a $250 stipend, with the Speaker earning $1,500. 

Other expenses for IUSG include a revamped marketing budget. Syed said this was critical. 

“The IUSG brand has disappeared from the student-side over the past few years,” he said. “It’s really investing to build the brand back out, making sure that we are visible on campus.” 

Aranyi said technology goes hand-in-hand with marketing.

“Due to recent developments with COVID, it’s imperative that we leverage our technology to be able to communicate with students,” she said. “We really want to focus on digital outreach. We want to build our tech department.” 

One of the new COVID-19 task force’s co-chairs is junior Salil Gupta. He saidin the upcoming weeks and months, they will work to decide how these funds are used.

“The way that I see it working out is us sitting on the university committee and liaising between them and student government,” Gupta said. “We want to see how we can best allocate our funds that have been earmarked for COVID relief. We don’t want to undermine their efforts, but hopefully they have some input on that.” 

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