The Student Government Association held its joint session between the old and new members Monday night. The meeting marked the transition between this year and next year’s SGA as old members held their final meeting and new senate leadership was elected.
Before the new Senate could take over, outgoing senators unanimously voted the approval of next year’s budget standards, as proposed by outgoing Executive Board Treasurer Sean Kennedy.
One of the controversial proposals, the Shared Veto Initiative, would have given veto power to the Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair in most financial matters. Kennedy struck the initiative from the proposed changes because the clause created too much controversy and had too little impact.
“After having a couple of discussions about it, it seemed to be the right thing to do,” Kennedy said. “I knew something was wrong with it when it had the most controversy and the smallest effect.”
The other high-controversy addition to next year’s budget standards is the limitation on funding given to clubs and organizations in Tiers II and III. Clubs in these groups would not be allocated a budget by the SGA that is more than the total amount of money that the club spent and fundraised in the previous academic year combined.
Despite the fact that clubs would still have unlimited access to funding from the Finance Committee for programs and events, some members of the Senate still think the change would be unfair to clubs who were poorly organized in the past and are trying to restart themselves.
“There is something to be said about running a club and already having funding allocated to you,” Sen. Vilela, speaking on behalf of clubs with inactive executive boards in the previous academic year, said.
In addition to clubs trying to start fresh, some clubs have trouble fundraising, according to Sen. Renee Callender.
New Executive Board Treasurer Mark Buryk agreed with this change in the budget standards, explaining that it ensures clubs get a fair and useful amount of money.
“As the treasurer of a club that spent no money last year, I can say that the money we were allocated was a complete waste,” Buryk said.
Buryk also said, as the new Treasurer for next year’s SGA, “It allows the public…to know this is what I base my allocations off of next year.”
The new senators also voted in members for next year’s leadership positions. Vilela elected the new Senate Speaker, Charli Strassman was re-elected as Parliamentarian and Michael Cruz was voted Senate Secretary.
Chair of the Student Life Committee is Education Senator Moira Kelly, Chair of Academic Affairs will be Arts and Sciences Senator Bryan Lucas, Chair of Finance will be Arts and Sciences Senator Will DeCotiis, and Chair of Public Relations will be At-Large Senator Renee Callender.
Katherine O’Brien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.