The Students’ Association Senate approved a proposal on Monday to expand eligibility for SA supplemental funding to groups who are not SA-funded.
The proposal, pushed forth by SA President and senior Pete Nabozny, and Senators junior Alex Brody and sophomore Tyson Ford requested that the SA Supplemental Fund be expanded to $25,000 from the current $15,000 and be made available to most student groups registered with the Student Activities Office.
The bylaws outlined in the proposal will need to be passed with other bylaw changes at the April 4 Senate meeting.
“These changes open the door for new and better student run events,” Senator and senior Alex Brody said. “All students will benefit because a requirement is that the events be open to the whole community.”
Currently, groups who are not SA-funded, including honor societies and Greek organizations, cannot receive any part of an SA budget, except through co-sponsorships with SA-funded organizations.
Under the proposed bylaw changes, the Students’ Association Appropriations Committee will include these groups in their supplemental budgeting procedures.
Organizations asking for supplemental funding will have to demonstrate how the event is actively inclusive and beneficial to the undergraduate student body. They will also have to discuss how it supports the student experience at The College.
“If these newly eligible groups come up for a request and have a better idea than an SA-funded group, then they deserve the money,” Brody said.
Graduate student organizations and religious and political organizations are not eligible to apply for supplemental funding.
“Graduate student groups can’t be included since they don’t pay the SA fee,” Nabozny said. “Students may be uncomfortable with allowing money to go to religious and political groups, since they are faith based. Senate has made this distinction in other decisions.”
Earlier this semester, Brody made a similar proposal, which was passed by the senate but later vetoed by Nabozny.
The first proposal, which passed ten votes in favor and six against, with one abstaining, aimed to allow Greek organizations to utilize surplus in the Transportation Fund for programming to benefit the entire campus community. The proposal also defined a $500 per program allotment limit.
“I was originally opposed to this proposal, but now it has structure,” Ford said. “It’s not just limited to Greeks and it has clear requirements.”
Senator and junior David Ladon proposed amending the proposal to allocating a separate supplemental fund for these new groups.
“Having run a smaller SA group, I was concerned about money being misappropriated,” he said. “Through the discussion, it occurred to me that a lot of times student government is limited in our influence.”
Continuing, he said, “Sometimes, I feel we’re caught up in only focusing on student activities when we really should be there to represent all aspects of student life. This is a chance to bring the student body together rather than keeping us separated.”
Supporters of the proposal agree with Ladon. “I think having a fund like this has the capability to open up and unite organizations on campus,” Senator and sophomore Brian Clancy said.
There is not an official limit to the amount of money a group can receive for supplemental funding, but senators and student government members trust that the SAAC will regulate funds efficiently.
“There isn’t an official cap,” Nabozny said. “But if a group asks for $15,000, they’re going to have a hard time getting it.”
The vote passed unanimously by the 15 senators present.
The proposed supplemental fund bylaws will be included in the vote on all bylaw changes on April 4, which need a two thirds vote to pass.
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