Money and the SA

You’ve got to hand it to last year’s Student Association Senate. The SA threw a party at the University Club to recognize members of the student government, but afterward, some people still felt their contributions were not properly acknowledged. So, to soothe hurt feelings, former Executive Vice President Tony Sayegh organized a second dinner for about 25 people at Mount Vernon College earlier this month. Not a big deal – everyone wants to feel his or her accomplishments have been recognized.

The kicker? The MVC dinner cost a whopping $7,000 – well over $200 per person.

Sayegh said of the second party, “When I throw an event, I like `quality’ to be a consistent theme.” No kidding. Maybe he should ask members of GW student groups about the quality of support they receive from the Senate.

A few weeks ago, the Senate met to approve a bill allocating student group funds for the next school year. The meeting turned into a six-hour melee.

But even with student groups on their hands and knees begging for an extra $100 to put on programs, money for Sayegh’s extravagant party evidently was attained easily. For student groups that were denied more money because “the well was dry,” this wasteful splurge is a slap in the face. Though the party apparently was not an illegal use of SA funds, the amount of money spent was irresponsible, considering the number of student groups that could use more funding.

Senators, especially those who oversee allocations, have a responsibility to the entire University to ensure that procedures are conducted fairly and without preference.

Next year’s Senate must keep in mind its constituency – students. Eating appetizers at a catered party is a great perk, but doing it while student groups are scrounging for money is obscene. Wasteful spending and the veil of secrecy surrounding funding allocations only serve to make the SA more irrelevant to average students.

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