The Newspaper of Irvington High School

ASG Investigation Week: ASG’s Lack of Budget and Spending Transparency Explained

ASG’s budget has remained a mystery to much of Irvington’s student body and the Irvington Voice’s investigation into their budget revealed their financial plans, expenditure, and club money regulations.

February 1, 2021

As many events and fundraisers that ASG normally hosts during a normal school year have been canceled or delayed, ASG’s budget and spending for the year have changed accordingly.  Generally, the budget reports are available to the student body on the website. However, they contain vague descriptions for items purchased, making it difficult for a student to decipher how ASG is spending money.

In mid-December, the Irvington Voice contacted ASG treasurer Zayaan Khan (11) requesting an updated budget.

“This year, we actually do not have a budget,” Khan said. “Due to COVID, ASG is cutting expenses on basically everything so our spending philosophy this year is to not spend any money at all except in the very few cases when absolutely necessary.”

However, in our interview with ASG advisor Mr. Willer, he was able to provide the current ASG budget, which contradicted Khan’s claim.

Despite Khan stating there was no current ASG budget, he stated that their two major expenses were for buying merchandise, such as Blue Crews, hoodies, and planners (not shown here). Photo Credit: ASG

According to Mr. Willer, the original receipts for all ASG purchases are stored in Ms. Menke’s office, the accounting clerk for Irvington High School. The reports published online label purchased materials as “ASG supplies” because there are often too many items approved for purchase at once. It would be difficult to list out all of them, but Mr. Willer says that the ASG treasurer would know what exactly was purchased.

The budget shown above is from last year, and uses phrases such as “Rally Supplies” and “MAZE Supplies” to describe the purpose of expenses.  Photo Credit: ASG

“[The original receipts] are audited by the district and by the state every single year,” explained Willer. “For anything referenced on our budget, there is a physical receipt, a physical expenditure, a copy of the actual check, where the check was sent to, all grouped in order from August all the way to June [annually].”

According to Khan, the umbrella term “ASG supplies” is used to describe miscellaneous items purchased by ASG.

“[ASG supplies refers to] school supplies, or poster paper that we use in the student union for posters,” Khan stated. “Also the student body is welcome to use that for their own projects. A lot of times we need paint and paint brushes, or various things like that which fall under ASG supplies.” 

Although the reasoning provided by Mr. Willer and Khan explains the lack of clarity in the budget, much of the student body is unaware of how ASG spends its money. The Irvington Voice’s ASG evaluation survey found that 25.4% (110 students) of the 433 sampled students in the survey disagreed with the statement “I believe that ASG has been transparent in their use of student body money” while only 15.5% (67 students) agreed according to the survey. The remaining participants in the survey felt neutral about ASG’s budget transparency.

“I have no idea what the budget is so I would say there is not as much transparency as there could be,” stated an anonymous senior.

Additionally, a California state law requires clubs to spend at least 20% of their revenue in a year and in some cases, if this money is not spent, ASG has the authority to take the money. Mr. Willer, however, believes this law is often misinterpreted.

“I get a report of all the clubs who have money over 20% and I email the president and advisors and I say, ‘You have an excess of money in your account. How do you plan on spending it?’,” explained Mr. Willer. “We document and we record that plan on a spreadsheet, and [the club] gets to keep the money because there’s a plan for it and it rolls over the next year. We have actually never taken money from an active club on campus.”

Mr. Willer did state that ASG has seized money from clubs that have been inactive for over 72 months and repurposed the money in their account to be used for campus beautification, water-bottle refilling stations and other school-wide projects that improve the campus for all students.

ASG’s budget may still remain a mystery to a large portion of the student body but students who are curious to learn more about ASG’s spending can view the reports published on the website or contact an ASG representative for more information.

About the Contributors
Photo of Anushka Nair
Anushka Nair, Humans Editor & Editor-in-Chief
Anushka Nair (12) is excited to be Vol. 30’s co-Editor-In-Chief along with Geetika and co-Humans Editor along with Tanmay. She joined The Voice as a sophomore after obsessively reading the paper during advisory and finds it to be one of the best decisions she made in high school. When she isn’t bothering staff writers about scheduling their interviews, you can find her reading memoirs, hiking, and trying out new restaurants.
Photo of Nikoo Alizadeh
Nikoo Alizadeh, Features Editor
Nikoo (12) is excited to be entering her third year as a member of The Voice. She has been a part of The Voice since her sophomore year and she has been a features editor for two years. She enjoys rewatching her two favorite TV shows, Criminal Minds and Law & Order SVU, as well as learning how to bake in her free time. Her IG is @nikoo._alizadeh. 

The Irvington Voice • Copyright 2023 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in