Senate passes student group mid-year allocations

The Student Association Senate passed its mid-year allocations bill at Tuesday’s meeting, legislation that will give student groups a better idea of how much money they have to spend for the rest of the year.

The Senate is responsible for dispersing money it receives from student fees to registered student groups.

According to SA bylaws, any student group registered with the Student Activities Center may request funding from the SA.

The Senate makes its original allocations at the beginning of the academic year, and conducts a review during the spring semester of the groups funded by the original bill. Groups that form during the school year or that did not receive funding in the original allocations bill can apply for funding at this time.

Graduate Sen. J.P. Blackford (SEAS), chair of the Senate’s Finance Committee, said the Senate provided allocation forms to student groups this year, making the reallocation process more fair and run more smoothly.

“The paper process provided the information we needed in a more standard fashion than before; no group was penalized because we didn’t have the information we needed,” Blackford said.

Blackford said all groups were notified of filing procedures and due dates by e-mail, and were fined 5 percent of their original allocations if they missed the deadline.

He said several student groups asked for and received extensions of the deadline to submit their information for review.

Blackford said groups fined for their failure to submit the mid-year review applications accounted for almost 90 percent of the student groups who lost money in the review.

“We did a more lenient fine than the bylaws allow,” Blackford said. “The bylaws stipulate a 15 percent fine, but we decided on a 5 percent fine considering the lateness in the year as well as the fact that we did not need the money (for the co-sponsorship fund) as much as we have in years past.”

The bill provided funding for seven organizations that had not received funding before, and increased the allocations for many other groups. Blackford said almost every group that requested additional funding and provided valid justifications for the request received some increase in allocation.

In other Senate business, Executive Vice President Tony Sayegh clarified the body’s proxy policy, which came under fire earlier this month.

Senators unable to attend a meeting are allowed to proxy their vote to another senator. The proxy procedures came into question when Sayegh was sued in Student Court for allowing written proxies to be changed verbally.

Though the court case was dismissed, Sayegh said at Tuesday’s meeting that he will adhere to a more stringent policy regarding proxies to avoid any possible confusion over the legitimacy of a proxy.

Sayegh said only written, signed and dated proxies submitted to him prior to the Senate meeting will be accepted. He said proxies will not be verbally amended.

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