According to recently released public records, San Diego State increased its holiday and end-of-year party budget for staff by $12,000 last year.
These records indicate SDSU spent $48,907 on staff parties last year, which is an increase from the $36,907 it spent in 2010 for approximately 6,000 employees.
SDSU officials told the San Diego Union-Tribune almost all staff parties were not paid for by state funds or tuition revenue, with the sole exception of the 38th Annual Staff Awards Luncheon held last November, which used $5,500 to partially rent out Viejas Arena.
However, the same officials also said the discretionary money that covered staff parties last year could have been used for scholarships or other priorities regarding SDSU students, which made some students question the party budget’s purpose.
“When looking at a potentially problematic situation like this, it is always good to remember to look at both sides, because looking at the (figures) definitely can make some of us starving students heated,” junior Crissy Salas said. “SDSU throwing (its staff) a party once in a while can do a lot for employee morale, but I personally think that they need to tone it down a bit.”
“SDSU takes seriously its responsibility to be a good steward of public funds and other financial and material assets,” SDSU Director of Media Relations and New Media Greg Block said. “We also believe people are the university’s most important resource, and we will continue to appropriately acknowledge our employees for their many contributions.”
If students have questions regarding how funding staff parties could be affecting student tuition, there will be an opportunity to ask questions following an open presentation about SDSU’s budgeting process and fiscal outlook between 2 and 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 in Arts and Letters, room 201.