Former SGA presidential candidate questions budget

Part of the Student Government Association budget is still awaiting approval after assembly members questioned some of its items at Wednesday’s assembly meeting.

Members voted to table the $25,800 miscellaneous expenses section of SGA’s nearly $670,000 proposed budget until today’s meeting.

Senior Anna Roueche, who represents the Council on Presidential Affairs at assembly, first questioned a $2,000 increase to the presidential initiative and then suggested an increase to the volunteerism budget.

Roueche, who ran against current SGA president Al Carroll, said she opposed the increase in the president’s initiative  fund because Carroll didn’t put forth specific plans for the money as past SGA presidents have done.

She also said the diversity programs Carroll said he would cover with the money are already funded by the student affairs budget and the REACH portion of the SGA budget.

“I totally understand diversity programming,” Roueche said, “but it’s a weird way to use student money when there’s already money from students going to that.”

Carroll defended the budget item, saying that he would put the extra funds toward other diversity initiatives and events that may not already receive money.

“It gives me an opportunity to highlight that program,” Carroll said.

Roueche said she wanted to move money into the volunteerism budget to help better fund programs like Bulldogs into the Streets and to finance new service opportunities.

“That office serves students, but it also serves the community,” she said.

Dan Schramm, vice president of the SGA finance board, said that all SGA presidents have an initiative fund. That item, along with the rest of the budget, was formulated by the executive board over the summer.

However, the presented budget can be amended or approved by SGA assembly.

“It’s pretty much completely in their hands,” Schramm said.

After assembly approves the initial budget, boards can then trade money or draw from a $14,656 budget cushion to cover any deficits they may face. Schramm said most boards stay within budget, though there is no set restriction about exceeding the allotted amount.

This spring SGA will work on and approve a budget for next school year instead of waiting until the fall. Schramm said this will involve members more in the process and allow boards to begin planning events earlier.

“We’d know when we meet over the summer what budget we have to operate in,” Schramm said. “It will make things less stressed out later.”

SGA assembly meets today at 4:30 p.m. in PB 156.

Click here for the SGA budget.

 

 

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