Sunday, May 27

USAC takes student questions about endowment plan

Endowment Q&A

Wednesday and Thursday
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Communal office space of the USAC President’s Office

The undergraduate student government will hold a public Q&A for students this week on a proposal to create an endowment using surplus funds and plans to vote on the proposal during next week’s council meeting.

President David Bocarsly has proposed using $100,000 of surplus money – unspent money that carries over from the previous council every year – to create an endowment through the UCLA Foundation, the organization that handles all of UCLA’s financial donations and endowments.

The council plans to hold a Q&A session open to all students in the communal office space of the president’s office Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. to answer questions about the proposed endowment.

The surplus fund has been unstable in recent years. USAC is projected to receive more than $380,000 in surplus this year compared to the $273,437 it received last year.

Previous USAC councils have made decisions under the assumption of high surpluses, which has led to problems such as last year’s council having to apply for extra funding from the Associated Students UCLA when it received less surplus than it had earlier expected.

Under Bocarsly’s proposal, $150,000 of the surplus would be split up each year among the USAC programming funds – money that USAC offices and student groups can apply for – and the capital contingency fund, which provides money for student groups with offices in Kerckhoff Hall for supplies like computers.

A portion of the remaining funds would be spent on programs the council deems necessary at its own discretion, and the rest would be put into the endowment, Bocarsly said.

“(The endowment will) make our funding stable, efficient and effective for the long term,” Bocarsly said.

USAC Finance Committee Chair Cynthia Jasso said, however, that USAC should exercise caution in setting a precedent for future councils.

“I think the endowment is potentially a good long-term fiscal investment (but) I still don’t believe it solves the real problem,” Jasso said. “The problem is not what we do with our money or the stability of our funds; our real problem is how to keep surplus as low as we can.”

Bocarsly proposed the endowment at the last USAC meeting of fall quarter, but the vote was pushed to this quarter to give council members more time to consider the proposal.

“Right before the fall quarter ended, there were a lot of questions (from the council) on how an endowment works and such, (so we’re) looking to answer (them on Tuesday),” said Andrea Hester, USAC internal vice president.

Steve Gamer, associate vice chancellor for UCLA Development and executive director of the UCLA Foundation, and Jacquelean Gilliam, director of scholarship and fellowship for UCLA Development, will give a presentation on the basic framework of the proposed endowment at the meeting.

The council is expected to vote on the proposed endowment at its meeting next week.

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