Students call out SA Senate for speeding through allocations

Sen. Ryan Counihan speaks to Sen. Alex Mizenko during the Student Association’s allocations meeting Monday night. Both are members of the finance committee, which doled out about $800,000 to student groups this fall. Rupa Bhashyam | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Chris Hebdon.

The Student Association spent a little less than a half hour appropriating funds for about 400 student organizations at its Monday meeting.

The SA Senate approved the $800,000 allocations bill, drafted by finance committee over the last few weeks, but several senators called out the body for spending too little time on the bill.

SA Sen. Hugo Scheckter, U-At-Large, said the committee “failed in a massive way.” His organization, the Club Sports Council, was given fewer funds than last year.

The umbrella group, which includes 35 sports, picked up $38,600 – a $5,200 decrease from the previous year.

“[The finance committee] didn’t do a good job allocating fairly,” Scheckter said. He was the only senator who voted against the bill.

The SA started out with $945,000 in its budget, about 6 percent less than last year.

After the senate passed the bill, Executive Vice President Abby Bergren thanked the finance committee, but told members they should have focused more on discussing the bill.

“It’s been a tough year because we’ve had higher expectations and lower funds,” Bergren said.

About 75 percent of organizations who appealed for more funds this year won their case, with about $22,300 total doled out in the appeals round. Sixty groups appealed their budgets, six fewer than last year.

Before the senators began the meeting, Director of the Center for Student Engagement Tim Miller urged senators to take the process seriously.

“I hope you’ve thought about it. I hope you’ve planned for it,” Miller said. “For 90 percent of the student body, this is the only meeting they care about each year. I hope this isn’t a two minute discussion.”

Senator Ian Shetron also argued that the Newman Center should have received more than their $10,000 allocation because is membership exceeds the Jewish Student Association, which received $22,500.

Finance committee chair and senator Alex Mizenko said there were organizations “that really needed money,” adding that the committee also looks at an organization’s outside funding as a deciding factor.

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