Financial crunch

Former senate treasurer Joe Perret stressed that Pierce’s reserved budget has dropped by several million dollars since 2012.

Perret, now a district academic senate representative, said during the Academic Senate meeting on March 13 that the college is paid relative to the amount of people taking classes here, and the cost has increased faster than the student body.

“In fact, we are not going to grow much next year, but our expenses have increased. That leads to a systematic dissemblance by spending more than we bring in for the last couple of years,” Perret said.

Pierce College may face a problem if the needed equipment is not supplied due to a smaller population of students.

“We are now at the point where it looks like our reserves are going to fall below the required 5 percent of the budget. This means that, when we start looking at what we can spend, we are going to have to cut back,” Perret said.

Graphic design instructor Richard Kamimura said the budget was “actually the big one” and his department can be affected.

“I was really surprised that it drastically changed from what it used to be,” Kamimura said. “We have a really high demand in technologies so, when you apply for new technologies, it can possibly affect our major.”

The college’s budget has decreased dramatically within the last five years.

“Fiscally, it’s going to be tight next year. We had about $8.5 million in the bank and, based on this year’s budget, we will probably end up with less than one million,” Perret said. “We are going to fall below a certain amount of reserves, and the district is going to have to step in to help. It’s very serious.”

According to Perret, the budget doesn’t go into effect until July 2017, so there may still be time to recuperate at least the required 5 percent.

Associated Student Organization (ASO) President Amir Haghi announced the upcoming executive elections for the spring semester. He wants to change the voting system and he discussed whether it should be done online or on the Mall.

“There’s ups and downs to both,” Haghi said. “We have to balance out how accessible it is and how practical it is, to see how we can get the most amount of people to vote and how accurate we can have those votes be.”

Should the ASO decide to have elections online, this will allow more time for students to make their voting decisions. If the elections are on campus, student voting time will be shorter.

Haghi also shared that Pierce College will be changing its mission statement.

“Pierce College is changing its mission statement to make it more relevant to millennials,” Haghi said. “This is important because it will not be changed for another five to 10 years.”

Haghi said the new mission statement will go into effect in Fall 2017.

Instructor of psychology and statistics Maria Perser said nominations are being accepted for Pierce College faculty awards, including Faculty Leadership Award and the Professor of the Year Award, until March 24.

“The awards have actually increased from $500 to $750 this year, which is a nice sum of money,” Perser said. “If you have wonderful faculty, please make sure to nominate them.”