ASUC and UC Berkeley administration sign new agreement

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The ASUC and the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly will receive $250,000 annually starting next academic year in a new funding model outlined by a recently revised agreement between the ASUC and the campus that will oversee commercial activities carried out by student government.

Signed by ASUC President DeeJay Pepito and Chancellor Nicholas Dirks on Friday, the Commercial Activities and Student Services Agreement was revised to provide a flat rate to the ASUC and Graduate Assembly rather than the variable amount allowed by the previous model. The agreement also changed the name of the ASUC Auxiliary to ASUC Student Union. The ASUC Auxiliary is a department within the Division of Student Affairs and acts as the administrative arm of the ASUC.

According to ASUC Auxiliary Executive Director Kelsey Finn, the old model was designed to first use money from commercial revenues to carry out the obligations of the ASUC Auxiliary and then give remaining funds to the ASUC and the Graduate Assembly. Theoretically, this allowed an allocation of more than $250,000, but in recent years, it has consisted of much less, if any, according to Finn.

“Knowing the revenue sharing arrangement in advance allows for much more predictability in future financial planning,” said Graduate Assembly Internal Vice President Bahar Navab in an email.

The $250,000 will be split between the ASUC and the Graduate Assembly according to their representational sizes. Aside from commercial revenues, the ASUC is largely funded by student fees.

According to Finn, the name change to ASUC Student Union is intended to better describe the mission of the more vague-sounding ASUC Auxiliary. The new agreement also implements several other name changes, including a shift in its own name from the original Commercial Activities Agreement. The board that oversees implementation of the agreement, previously dubbed the Commercial and Student Services Board, will now be called the ASUC Student Union Board.

The Commercial Activities and Student Services Agreement was written in 1998 and last revised in 2012. The recent change was reviewed by a variety of student leaders and campus administrators, including Pepito and Navab.

The latest revision also “coincides nicely,” Finn said, with ongoing work to build the new ASUC Student Union facilities in the Lower Sproul area, set to open in fall 2015. The facilities will include a new student store, eating establishments, ASUC and Graduate Assembly offices and ASUC Student Union staff offices.

“We are incredibly excited to be working with the ASUC and the GA to bring such amazing services to the Cal student body,” Finn said in an email. “When we open our doors in the fall of 2015, we will truly be a paragon of student unions that will be the envy of campuses across the U.S.”

Melissa Wen is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @melissalwen.