Acting as a true conduit of the students, the Student Association Senate passed three finance bills Tuesday. The three pieces of legislation cap the executive budget at 20 percent of the total SA budget, cut the executive budget by $10,000 from last year’s allocation and allocate money to over 80 student groups. In these bills, the Senate put money where it belongs – in students’ hands.
The Senate should be commended for keeping students’ interests in mind. With numerous student groups grabbing for funds, the Senate must award those groups that have shown responsibility and effectiveness. SA President Phil Meisner should sign the bills and take the generous $52,216 allocated to the executive branch.
Meisner submitted a one-page document, which delineated the proposed expenditures of the executive branch – more than $74,400 in sum. Some student groups turn in four- to five-page allocation requests and none asked for nearly the amount of money that the executive branch wants. The proposed expenditures of the executive branch are broad and non-specific in comparison to smaller groups’ detailed reports.
For instance, the executive budget proposal included $500 for a “beverage contract initiative” (i.e. getting Coke on campus). The fact that the many student groups won’t receive more than $500 this year is appalling when the executive plans to spend $250 on a beverage survey and $250 on support activities for the beverage initiative.
The Senate wisely reverted money to student groups that could have gone to the executive branch. By capping future executive budgets at 20 percent of the total SA budget and significantly cutting executive funding this year, the Senate sends the message to the executive branch that with responsibility comes money. Meisner should reinforce the Senate’s commendable message and sign the legislation.