SA Senate approves $1.3 million budget to fund student groups

Media Credit: Derek Long | Hatchet Photographer

Sen. Nate Pasko, ESIA-U, who chairs the finance committee, said each student organization received approximately one-third of what they requested in the budget.

Updated: April 18, 2017 at 1:19 p.m.

The Student Association Senate unanimously passed a budget Monday funding student organizations for next academic year.

The budget gives out about $1.3 million of the SA’s nearly $1.8 million in total funds to student groups across campus.

The SA’s finance committee will have about $450,000 to give away in co-sponsorships, money given to student organizations throughout the year, which is $100,000 more than last year.

Sen. Nate Pasko, ESIA-U and chair of the finance committee, said on average student organizations received about one-third of the funding that they requested. The committee received about $3.5 million worth of funding requests from student groups, he said.

Among the largest allocations were the Student Bar Association, which will receive over $165,000, and the Elliott School Program Board, which will get about $47,000.

Pasko said the finance committee doles out funds based on several factors like the number of individuals expected to benefit from the funding and the extent to which budget items are central to the identity or existence of a student organization.

“That was a lot of work, so I’m glad you saw it as a generally positive thing,” Pasko said, addressing his fellow senators.

Sen. Keiko Tsuboi, ESIA-U, said the budget deserved unanimous support and the committee effectively handled the allocation process.

The SA’s budget has often been contentious in the past. Last year some student groups were upset when the finance committee awarded less funding upfront, reserving more for co-sponsorships given out gradually over the course of the academic year.

“This might be the most positive ways that I’ve seen a finance committee talked about at our school,” Tsuboi said.

At Monday’s meeting, the senate also voted unanimously in favor of amending the senate bylaws to require senate committees to approve new vice presidential nominees. Two nominees – Victoria Gonçalves for vice president of diversity and inclusion and Sebastian Weinmann for vice president for campus operations – were confirmed through a senate vote shortly before the bill was passed.

Weinmann replaces former SA presidential candidate Cole Ettingoff who was removed from his campus operations post earlier this month after he named SA President Erika Feinman in harassment claims against Lande Watson, one of his opponents in the presidential race.

Falcigno also announced at the meeting that Sen. William Taylor, G-Law, and Sen. Luz Maria Jasso Gascon, CCAS-G, would be suspended for failing to follow the senate’s attendance policy.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Monday was the final meeting of the senate’s current term. The current senate has one more meeting on May 1. We regret this error.

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