$15,000 Increase in FUEMS Budget Announced

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$15,000 Increase in FUEMS Budget Announced

FUEMS is an integral part of student safety, both on- and off-campus. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

FUEMS is an integral part of student safety, both on- and off-campus. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

FUEMS is an integral part of student safety, both on- and off-campus. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

FUEMS is an integral part of student safety, both on- and off-campus. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

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By Max Prinz

After receiving an appeal, the Student Life Council voted on Wednesday to increase the referendum funding for Fordham University Emergency Medical Services (FUEMS) from $10,000 to $25,000 per semester. SLC voted 10-0-5 to increase the referendum for FUEMS, hearing testimony from both United Student Government Vice President of Finance Kara Norton, GSB ’16, and Director of FUEMS Chris Valenza, GSB ’16.

Valenza presented the members of the SLC with the budget information for the past three semesters, including the current Fall 2014 semester.

FUEMS is an integral part of student safety, both on- and off-campus. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

FUEMS is an integral part of student safety, both on- and off-campus. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

FUEMS is an integral part of student safety, both on- and off-campus. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

This information showed the increasing costs FUEMS has incurred, as well as presented statistics demonstrating the increase in student need for emergency medical services.

As a referendum club, FUEMS is allotted a certain budget each semester, and can ask the USG budget committee for more funds if necessary. The budget committee granted FUEMS an additional $7,668.92 for the Fall 2014 semester.

Increasing the referendum is a two-step process that first requires the club to meet with USG’s budget committee. Once approved by the budget committee, the club appeals directly to the SLC for a final vote of approval.

Norton also provided the council with a level of context, saying that clubs like Peer Educators and Mock Trial both have budgets in the $20,000 range.

“As any other club or organization, FUEMS experiences many costs throughout the year,” Valenza said in a letter to the council. “In the past, the budget allocated to FUEMS has been just sufficient to get by. Unfortunately, with rising medical costs and new [New York State Department of Health] standards, FUEMS is in desperate need of more funding.”

The packet that Valenza distributed also outlined the club’s plans for new spending.

This includes the purchase of an emergency ambulance service vehicle or “fly car” that would increase FUEMS’ ability to respond to students on campus in need of treatment, the purchase of automated external defibrillators for each building on campus and the funds to comply with new New York State Department of Health regulations to produce electronic care reports.

Also included in the packet were statistics highlighting an increasing need for the services provided by FUEMS.

The total calls have steadily increased over the past 10 years, from 465 in 1994-95 to 720 in the 2013-2014 school year.

Additionally, FUEMS treated a record 141 patients in September of 2014.

Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Christopher Rodgers commended Valenza on his presentation, as well as the fine work FUEMS does.

“Your organization does a phenomenal job,” Rodgers said. “This group [SLC] talks about, each month, the transports that you do.”

One eye-raising note in the FUEMS budget was the $6,018 set aside for the club’s appreciation dinner last spring.

“Every year we do have an appreciation dinner for our members because we’re on service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our members are getting nothing in return,” Valenza said when asked about the item. “So this is the one night where we all go out to a really nice dinner. It is also used as a fundraising event.”

Noting the importance of the services that FUEMS provides, the council voted unanimously, albeit with five abstentions, to increase its referendum.

The staff members from the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development, who admitted to having a very hands-on role in doling out club funds, abstained from voting because of a conflict of interest.

The Student Life Council will next convene on Dec. 3.

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Max Prinz is the Sports Editor for The Fordham Ram.