Weekly Student Government Association assembly meetings regarding the budget have become exasperating for guests and representatives alike. The lack of a procedure for how SGA will allocate funds during the budget approval process has resulted in convoluted decision-making and an seemingly unfair process for distributing money. Representatives need to take more notice.
During the Sept. 14 meeting, it was suggested that the Volunteer Center should receive a $4,000 increase in its budget to expand services. However, some representatives in the meeting requested that the Volunteer Center present a detailed list of how that money would be spent before they would offer an increase. But when other organizations requested money at the Sept. 21 meeting, the requests were voted through without discussion.
We at The Butler Collegian are alarmed by the lack of engagement being displayed by student body representatives at these meetings and the lack of a concrete policy for budget allocation for departments and boards.
Representatives from student organizations seem to have forgotten that they are representing more than their respective student organizations; they are representing the student body as a whole. These meetings should have roughly 150 students expressing the opinions of the 3,953 students who aren’t in attendance. Unfortunately, it has transformed into 150 restless students recklessly voting budgets through because they are eager to leave.
It’s time for all representatives to start taking their positions more seriously and for students to start making an effort to communicate with these representatives about what they do and do not want from their campus government.
Additionally, there needs to be a plan for how money is given to each item in the budget after the initial budget is solidified. It is unfair that some organizations have to prove that they will put their money to good use when the assembly grants them an increase, while other organizations receive unanimous approval to spend extra money as they like without concrete plans.
Even though these assembly meetings are used as a final approval step for the budget, which is formed during the summer, students and representatives still need to take this process seriously and ask questions about where our money is going.
This precedent, if created, will inspire representatives to be more involved in assembly so they can get the money they need to put on programming throughout the school year.
Since students’ activity fees are involved in the process, students—whether guests or representatives—need to express greater concern and interest in the budget that SGA puts forth.
Students should care where their money is going so that SGA will take more serious steps to create a clearer policy for allocating money within its budget at meetings.
It is imperative that the student body actually interacts with SGA—and occasionally criticizes it. After all, that level of engagement is what will further the university as a whole.