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ASU Brainstorms Solution for $6-million Shortfall

The ASU shines a light on how hard Valley College will be hit by budget cuts.

By Edythe Smith | Staff Writer
On March 14, 2012

The Valley College Associated Student Union Executive Council held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss various items pertaining to budgets, ASU membership benefits and Spirit Day.

With several excused and absent commissioners and a vacant position for attorney general, the council moved toward agendas in the works, upcoming events and budgetary shortfalls.

The council addressed concerns with the new cuts to several programs. According to ASU President Norvan Berkezyan, a report from a recent IEC meeting announced that Valley is facing a budget shortfall of $6 million.

"The college has been hit harder than expected," said Berkezyan. "Right now, they're trying to figure out how to make up for it and reduce the $6 million shortfall to $2 million."

Funds for the tutoring center may be jeopardized, and both the writing and learning centers will be overseen by one director. Summer and winter sessions have been cancelled, and several ASU representatives are going to Washington, D.C. this weekend to lobby against the increase in budget cuts.

Shawn Besharaty, a member of the Membership Benefits Committee, addressed the council in the absence of Lester Salvador, the commissioner of campus/environmental affairs and head of the Benefits Committee. Besharaty gave several updates on various motions, such as plans for preferred parking for ASU members, discounts for students from local vendors and grants toward text- books.

"At first, initial costs would be high, but eventually they would benefit us," said Besharaty. "This would give us a reciprocating relationship with local businesses."

Besharaty stated that preferred parking in desirable lots for a higher fee would create revenue over time, benefiting the ASU and students. Other suggested membership benefits include discounts with participating restaurants and merchants and a grant for text- books.

Closing announcements were made regarding Spirit Day. Berkezyan and Vice President Eduard Grigoryan encouraged officers and commissioners to attend and participate in the events.

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