USG Senate talks UConn budget, expands halal food options

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UConn’s Chief Financial Officer Scott Jordan talks to USG about UConn’s 2020 financial year budget Wednesday night in the Student Union Ballroom. Students asked many questions to be able to obtain a better understanding of UConn’s finances as well as a sense of transparency.  Photo by Kevin Lindstrom / The Daily Campus

UConn’s Chief Financial Officer Scott Jordan talks to USG about UConn’s 2020 financial year budget Wednesday night in the Student Union Ballroom. Students asked many questions to be able to obtain a better understanding of UConn’s finances as well as a sense of transparency. Photo by Kevin Lindstrom / The Daily Campus

University of Connecticut Chief Financial Officer Scott Jordan presented last year and this year’s University of Connecticut budgets at an Undergraduate Student Government meeting Wednesday night. 

According to Jordan, UConn’s financial aid fund increased 10.6% and the university research fund increased 16.2% in 2019. Jordan also mentioned incoming revenue for the 2020 fiscal year, with about 31% coming from tuition and about 26% stemming from state support, totaling $144 million. 

When the cost of the Connecticut Commitment, a plan by UConn to provide free tuition to all Connecticut residents with incomes below $50,000, was questioned, Jordan tried to ease senators’ minds. 

“75% of students eligible already don’t pay tuition and the other 25% pay maybe a few hundred or a few thousand dollars,” Jordan said. “It’s going to cost $1 million per class, meaning it caps at $4 million for the entire school.” 

Another concern brought up by USG senators was the supporting of arts and humanities at UConn given a historical decline in state funding to the university. 

“The state is very generous to us,” Jordan said. “But, university leadership really does care. We fund these programs because they’re at the core of us.” 

When one senator asked why the Next Gen plan focuses exclusively on STEM improvement, Jordan responded with noting that the university has to spend the money a certain way. 

“The Next Gen fund provided by the state is for science,” Jordan said. “We can’t do anything else with it.” 

In addition to Jordan’s presentation, USG unanimously passed a motion to provide more halal options in dining halls. 

Zaim Rana, President of the Muslim Student Association, spoke in support of the proposal, mentioning that currently, only one section of the Towers dining hall offers halal food. 

“They often just serve vegetables or fish which defeats the purpose,” Rana said. “We want McMahon to serve halal food.”  

Chief of Staff to the President Walter Dodson spoke to the funding for the proposed change and how they would tackle administrative challenge. 

“We just saw a $1.3 billion budget,” Dodson said. “There is room. We will find room.”


Sean Donovan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at sean.m.donovan@uconn.edu.

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