SA grants summer funds to student groups on campus

Student groups who applied for funding over the summer will receive their allocations despite a struggle between the executive branch of the Student Association and the SA Senate.

But SA President Phil Meisner said debate continues about how money will be doled out.

“I have a tougher fight ahead of me, but I’m not going to give up on implementing an objective criteria,” Meisner said. “It’s necessary, and it’s the only way to make the allocations process fair for student groups.”

The struggle began when Meisner vetoed the financial allocations bill passed by the Senate in April. Meisner said he was opposed to the bill because he thought the Senate should implement a new formula to determine allocations.

Members of the Finance Committee said they could not wait for a formula to be drawn up because certain student groups needed funding to make it through the summer.

Meisner offered a compromise that provided student groups with 35 percent of their proposed allocations during the summer. The Finance Committee then would reevaluate each group’s total funds in the fall under Meisner’s plan.

Undergraduate Sen. David Burt (at large), chair of the Finance Committee, said the Senate refrained from accepting Meisner’s solution because umbrella groups that allocate funds to other groups would encounter problems.

Meisner vetoed the bill after compromises failed in the Senate, but the veto was overridden by the Senate at an emergency meeting held the first week of May.

Meisner said while he was disappointed with the override, he will continue to seek a new method for next year’s allocations. He said he will not sign any finance bills which are completed using the old method.

Meisner said the reason he thinks the Finance Committee was unwilling to accept his compromises was because they “did not care about making the process fair.”

“(The senators) decided to uphold the old system, which is not fair,” Meisner said. “The hypocrisy on that committee is baffling.”

Burt said the Finance Committee wants to make the process as fair as possible, but the Senate is required by the SA Constitution to fund groups during the summer.

“(Meisner) says he wants a formula, but in the meantime, we have a job to do,” Burt said. “He doesn’t make a suggestion for a formula, and then he blasts whatever bill comes out of the Finance Committee.”

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