Boege elected SGA executive board president
The votes are officially in, and Melissa Boege has been elected Executive Board President of the SGA for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Boege said she plans to focus on being a successful liaison between the administration and students. “Students need to know that they can utilize SGA as a source of information as well as a path to change and a platform from which they can be heard,” Boege said.
Boege ran with Vice President Dana Kappel, Treasurer Mark Buryk and Secretary Paulina Zakkak as a ticket, and said she believes they will be effective as a team because they will be able to “not only accomplish a great deal, but also push through any conflicts or unexpected difficulties that crop up next year.”
Among the changes the Executive Board hopes to accomplish include holding meetings in rooms with more space for gallery seating and changing SGA office hours to get Senators out on campus “interacting with students, gathering opinions and promoting SGA rather than simply waiting for students to seek us out in the office,” Boege said.
Just fewer than 400 students voted in the elections and Boege beat junior Andrea Sokolich by just 30 votes.
In addition to the elections, four new senators have been selected through and application and interview process to fill some of the vacant seats. Joining the SGA are Lianne Messina from the College of Education, Carrine Neves from the College of Nursing, Charli Strassman representing resident students and Samantha Woodington and Brian James Fucci from the College of Arts and Sciences.
The joint session of the members of the new and old SGA has been postponed until next Monday, since an Executive Board President was not selected in time for Monday night’s meeting.
At Monday’s meeting the Senate continued to discuss Executive Board Treasurer Sean Kennedy’s suggested changes to the budget standards, which once passed, the changes will be implemented in the fall semester.
One of the changes under fire at the meeting is a change in budget allocations that would limit the money clubs and organizations with Tier II or III status could receive as a budget from the SGA.
According to the bill, the SGA would be unable to allocate to a club in either Tier, “more than the total of what they have fundraised and spent throughout the previous academic year.”
Diplomacy Senator Elizabeth Dudley challenged the fairness of the bill for clubs that may be trying to start over with a new Executive Board, saying “I think it’s unfair and causes damage.”
Arts and Sciences Senator Will DeCotiis defended the bill, saying that “You can’t really go off what a club has potential to do, you have to go off what they have consistently done.”
Regardless of budget allocations, SGA-recognized clubs and organizations can get unlimited program funding from the Finance Committee. Clubs can also challenge their budget allocation.
“Usually there’s an appeal process,” Kennedy said. “The Senate can directly allocate more money,”
The most contested change in the budget standards is that which would give veto power to the Executive Board Treasurer and the Finance Committee Chair. The two could veto all financial matters except for appeals, but they must be in agreement.
The SGA Constitution does not grant veto power to either of these positions, so in order for this to go through the Senate would have to vote to pass an amendment to the Constitution in addition to the budget standards, both of which were debated at the meeting.
Kennedy said one reason he chose to add this veto power was because of past situations in which the Senate approved funding hastily. “There’s not really anyone in the Senate that has a more in-depth knowledge of the budget than the Treasurer and the Finance Committee Chair,” Kennedy said.
Some senators still find the change unneeded, as At-Large Senator Ivan Vilela said that it adds “unnecessary steps to a decision that should be exclusively of the Senate.”
The budget standards and the amendment to the Constitution have been tabled and will be voted upon at next Monday’s meeting.
Katherine O’Brien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.