Athletics presents on budget during final meeting of GSB 2011-2012

Charles O'Brien

Last night’s Government of the Student Body meeting saw the end of this year’s Senate.

The Senate ended their term with a presentation by Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard and by confirming budgets that had been recommended to the Finance Committee last week.

Pollard began his presentation by emphasizing the athletic department’s commitment to academics for their student athletes. Pollard said the average GPA of athletes has been higher than the average of non-athletes for 16 of the last 18 semesters.  He also said that during the past three years, Iowa State has had the highest graduation rates of athletes in Big 12 schools.

Moving on from academics, Pollard spoke about the funding that the athletic department receives.

Currently Iowa State Athletics has a budget of approximately $50 million with zero funds coming from the state. The athletic department does receive funding from student fees, $45 a year, but Pollard pointed out that for the eighth straight year, his department had not asked for a raise in student fees.

“We do not want to be a drain on the student body,” Pollard said.

He also spoke on the topic of conference re-alignment.

“We are very fortunate the Big 12 stayed together,” Pollard said. “We will receive $20 million from the Big 12 this year.”

Pollard also commented on the round robin conference play they had this year, saying that it was very exciting to watch and to play conference teams twice a year. He added that there was currently nothing on the horizon about conference alignment and that the conference would like to stay with 10 teams right now, but if they had to move to a 12 team format, they would.

After Pollard’s presentation, the senate moved into the Regular Allocations Recommendations portion of their program. The senate put emphasis on the Latino Heritage Committee budget.

The senate was concerned about the funding for a Latino conference in Chicago, the largest of its kind in the nation. Members debated about whether or not this conference was more about professional development and networking or leadership; GSB does not fund groups to attend conferences that deal with professional development and academics.

The Senate was looking to define what the conference was really about.  The group emphasized that it was about the leadership tips they would learn from the other Latino leaders at the conference.

“The conference you have to judge by the mission statement of the conference and the theme overall,” said Senator Dan Rediske.

After over an hour of discussion about the budget and looking at different alternatives the group could attend, GSB came to the conclusion that this was mainly a leadership conference.

The budget was passed 26-0-1.