Webster administration responds to concerns at Delegates’ response

Interim Chief Enrollment Officer Robert Parrent presents on student budget jobs at the spring administration response to the Delegates'.
Interim Chief Enrollment Officer Robert Parrent presents on student budget jobs at the spring administration response to the Delegates’.

Webster University President Elizabeth Stroble opened the administration’s response to the Spring Delegates’ Agenda on April 3, by reminding attendees that some things will not change overnight.

Student Government Association President Katie Maxwell and Vice President of Information Technology Kenneth Freeman presented the first version of the Webster mobile application. Freeman said the university is planning on a May 2014 soft launch.

Maxwell demonstrated some of the app’s features during the presentation. A map showing areas on campus, dining hours and several other features were shown to the the Administration’s response audience.

Freeman said in a later version of the app, a GPS feature, inclusion of international campuses and admission applications.

Student Government Allocation fund and student fees

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Ted Hoef and Assistant Provost for Student Affairs and Athletics Paul Carney presented on SGA’s Allocation funds and student activities fee. In February, SGA announced a 51 percent budget cut for all student organizations due to a “bubble” of extra funds running dry.

Hoef said the administration plans to immediately input $5,000 dollars to the Spring 2014 budget to alleviate some of the deduction’s impacts. He said the administration would also tie the raising of allocation to the raising of enrollment.

In a February interview with The Journal, Director of Student Activities Jennifer Stewart said the money allocated to SGA from the university has remained roughly the same since 2004. The money is split up between the programming pool, student grant fund and the readership program. The rest of the funds are divided between student organizations by SGA. The deductions only affect the student organization budget line.

At the end of each academic year, unspent student organization funds rollover to the next year in a “bubble.” Stewart said the bubble, over time, was spent down to a point where this semester it no longer existed.

Tuition Remission for Contract Workers

Administration also touched on several of the other Delegates’ issues. Chief Financial Officer Greg Gunderson and Chief Human Resources Officer Betsy Schmutz presented on the Delegates’ request for tuition remission for on-site contract workers. Gunderson and Schmutz listed several realities about benefits for contractors and concluded that benefits are the employers responsibilities.

However, Gunderson and Schmutz revealed two new scholarships for current, on-site, full-time workers and dependents under 25. The scholarships will be offered in Fall 2015.

On-Campus Car Rental and Budget Jobs

Administration also said they are looking into an on-campus car rental program. Associate Provost Nancy Hellerud said the university is considering a one year pilot program in which the university would try out the program. The administration also said they would look into improving GorlokJobs and examining open budget lines for reallocation.

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