Student Association senate sends financial transparency bill back to committee

Sen. Logan Dobson with his placard at the SA meeting on Tuesday night.
Sen. Logan Dobson with his placard at the SA meeting on Tuesday night.

A bill designed to increase transparency in the student organization financial process was sent back to committee at the Student Association senate meeting Tuesday night after the advisor to the SA encouraged senators to allow the University General Counsel to review the bill.

Tim Miller, executive director of the Student Activities Center, said he did not urge senators to vote against the bill, but rather for them to allow the counsel to say whether or not they were comfortable with allowing University financial records to become public.

SA Sen. Logan Dobson (CCAS-U), a sponsor of the bill, said he does not think it was necessary for the senate to delay passage of the bill.

“We don’t need anyone’s authority to change the bylaws,” Dobson said at the meeting. “The SA constitution is signed by the Board of Trustees and that would outrank the General Counsel. We don’t need to ask (the General Counsel) if we wish to amend our bylaws.”

Despite Dobson’s position, other senators said they did not feel comfortable passing the bill without the consent of the Counsel.

“This is the first year that we are receiving increased money from the University to allocate to student orgs,” said SA Sen. Ricardo Pineres (G-at-Large). “I think it is a prudent decision to ensure that the University is content with way we are handling this process.”

SA Sen. Michelle Tanney (CPS-G) said she felt the SA behaved maturely for waiting to pass the bill.

“I think (allowing the General Counsel to review the bill) would set good precedent with administration that we are working with them and not against them, especially with money which is controversial at this University,” said Tanney, a graduate student.

Dobson said he does not think the General Counsel will have a problem with the bill and he is confident the bill will pass when it goes before the senate again on Oct. 21.

“I’m still extremely disappointed in the senate’s decision,” said Dobson, a sophomore. “I feel that the senate took the phantom objections of a GW administration figure over the desires of the students for a more open financial process.”

SA Sen. Rob Lockwood (U-at-Large) co-sponsored the bill, while SA President Vishal Aswani and Executive Vice President Kyle Boyer also voiced their support for the bill.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.