*Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the leasing information. We sincerely regret the inaccuracies.
The Student Government Association voted Monday to grant a reserve-fund request for five new iMac computers for the Glomerata, Auburn's yearbook.
The $8,145 request for the new computers was made because the Office of Information Technology is not leasing computers any longer. Instead, as current leases end, groups must buy computers instead of lease them, if they go through OIT. Five of the Glom's computer leases were set to end in September.
“[I’m] definitely very happy with it, everything worked out in such a timely manner,” said Jacob Sparks, editor-in-chief of the Glomerata. “The [Budget and Finance Committee] really took control of this and brought it to the floor as fast as they could. I am very appreciative of that considering our intense deadline schedule we have.”
The publication requested a total of $8,145 in funding for the purchase of five new iMac computers with Magic Trackpads and updated RAM as to accommodate current software programs.
During discussion of the bill, some senators raised concern over the requested amount for only five devices. However, several senators pointed out the use of iMac computers in major design firms, as well as the possibility of delays in the yearbook’s design process if the organization had to switch to other options.
“The Glomerata moves very quickly,” Sparks said. “We publish the entire book by mid-February, which sounds like a long time, but when you’re publishing 404 pages and working with a staff of about 40 people, it is a lot to get those 8,500 books delivered to the student body in the second week of April.”
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A considered alternative to the request was a program-expansion fund, which would have also seen an increase in Glomerata funding. However, by using a reserve-fund request, the group will only have to make a one-time purchase for computers that will last them several more years.
“I’ve been emailing with James [Sadie, Budget and Finance chair] over the summer just to try to get a better picture, because I have never done a reserve-fund request,” Sparks said. “I’ve never seen one, so making sure that we went through all those steps because it was such high stakes. Basically, if this didn’t go through, I don’t know what would happen.”
The devices will be specially ordered through the University bookstore due to Apple’s contract with Auburn and should be ready for incoming staff by the first meeting after the bill is signed.
As other leases expire in 2020 and 2021, student organizations and staff who leased their computers will need to determine if and how they'll purchase new computers. For the Glom, the reserve-fund request worked for them.
“This definitely worked out,” Sparks said. “It was a big, big surprise when I found out we were not going to lose computers, because $8,145 is not something I take lightly, nor should anyone, and the senators certainly didn’t tonight, which I greatly respect and appreciate all their questions.”
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