Senate Still Unsure of Exact Budget
For the second meeting in a row, Student Senate did not have the exact amount of their budget on hand and relied again on an estimation.
The Finance Department has had difficulty figuring out the exact budget Senate has to work with this semester. Traditionally, they require a “ten day count,” which is ten school days, to determine how many students still are enrolled and have contributed to the fund. Despite the name, it usually takes more than ten days to receive this figure. Another contributing factor to the issue is the new system for Senate’s budget, which consists of the flat Student Services Fee instead of a percentage of every student’s tuition.
“We have … $32,742.66. Again, this is still just an estimate based on the numbers that I came up with and the money that we’ve spent. Finances upstairs are still dragging their heels because of inauguration … Just so you know, we have a lot of requests tonight. The total requested amount is $31,180 tonight. So just be cautious that this is going to significantly take a chunk out of our budget. And we may not be able to fund everything. Once we do run out of money, we will not be able to fund anything for the rest of the semester. So just be cautious in what you want to fund,” Financial Vice President Bailey Barber said.
Despite the large amount requested, Senate ended up allocating $6,512.08. This is partly because Senate tabled three requests to be heard next week, Alternative Break Experience-Los Angeles/Volunteers Involved Through Action (VITA), Alternative Break Experience-New Orleans/VITA, and Club Hockey. The two ABE requests were tabled because of discrepancies in the request break down. Club Hockey was tabled after 45 minutes of questions and debate because it was agreed that their request for $11,640 was too much money, but senators were unsure of what was more appropriate.
“There’s like 70 clubs and we’re getting maybe like $50,000. If we give $11,000, almost $12,000, away that’s giving over a fifth of our money to one club and we have 70 clubs … We understand hockey is expensive, but our club is cutting, every other club is cutting,” Internal Affairs Chair Mark Loscheider said.
Vice President Zach Meikle suggested tabling the request so Club Hockey could meet with Senate sometime during the week to help determine a fair amount that would fit with Senate’s decrease in budget.
Earlier in the meeting, United for Africa requested $1,100 for a trivia night and Aids Awareness Week events, including $150 for fundraising for an outside organization and $50 for candy during their Silent Walk. The $50 proved a large point of contention for many senators. Senator Rachel Anderson moved to amend the motion to read $975, because she reduced the $150 to $50 because Senate usually does $50 for club fundraising and $25 for candy instead of $50 because Senate usually gives clubs $25 for candy for the Activities Fair. After some back and forth, Collegiate and External Affairs Chair Rachel Foss moved to amend the motion to $1,000, which included the full $50 for candy. This amendment passed with 28 yeses and 2 no votes and the actual vote passed with 29 to 1.
Senate Allocates $75 to Buy Senator Name Tags
Later on in the meeting, Senate had three requests of their own. The first was for $252 to get nametags for all of the senators. However, despite the fact that the Senate Constitution requires nametags, some senators had difficulty asking for this money after being harsh on other clubs’ requests. FVP Barber pointed out that it was not as if they were asking for $2,000.
“I have a hard time justifying asking for money. I know it’s not a lot, but I would feel better if we waited till the spring semester,” VP Meikle said.
Senator Anderson suggested using cheaper nametags. Chair Foss moved to amend the motion to $75 once it was decided that was what it would cost for the executive board and chairs to have nicer nametags and the general senators to have the cheaper ones. Both the vote to amend the motion and the actual vote passed with 28 yeses and 3 nos.
The other two requests from Senate were not for Senate. One was for $197.08 to pay for transportation on Election Day to and from the Vineyard Church. The other was for $350 to provide Buffalo Wild Wings and pizza for people to enjoy while watching the presidential debate.