Student Association Senate approves executive funds for events

Media Credit: Auden Yurman | Senior Photo Editor

Senators unanimously approved SA Sen. Ian Ching, ESIA-U, to serve as chair of the finance committee, after the former chair resigned.

Updated: Sept. 15, 2022 at 11:12 a.m.

The Student Association Senate unanimously passed a resolution allocating more than $29,000 to the executive branch’s budget at their meeting Monday.

Faheem Ahmad, the SA treasurer, sponsored the Executive Operational Budget Act, which allocates $29,450 to the executive branch for University-wide events, resources for student organizations and operational costs. The resolution allocates $15,000 to Student Organization Resource Center, $5,000 for the SA office assistant salaries, $4,950 for food and drinks across various student outreach and community building events, $4,000 for program development activities and $500 for SA-related subscriptions.

The resolution allocates $4,000 for the President’s Day Weekend Palooza, which former Executive Vice President Kate Carpenter kickstarted last year, with funding split evenly between money for venue fees and money for food and drink. It also allocates $15,000 for the Student Organization Resource Center, which provides free printing, art supplies and “durable goods” like coffee makers for student organizations, in concordance with the SA bylaws.

Ahmad said this year the SA faces a “constrained” pool of funds due to inflation, which is currently measured at about 8.3 percent. He said the SA hopes to “make the best of” tight funds and begin planning programming for the academic year.

“It is our fullest intention to use our budget responsibly and for the ultimate benefit of the student body, hosting programming that promotes community and belonging for all students at this University,” he said.

The senate unanimously approved the Senate Seats Conversion Act, which converts two graduate seats from the School of Engineering and Applied Science, one graduate seat from the Milken School of Public Health and three graduate seats from the School of Business to Graduate-At-Large seats. The act also converts an undergraduate seat from the College of Professional Studies to an Undergraduate-At-Large seat.

The senate confirmed five new graduate senators.

Samuel Avila, Imani Featherson and Gloria Macrae will represent graduate students in the public health school. Pavan Reddy will represent the graduate students in SEAS and Nicole Blackstone will fill the G-at large seat established in the senate’s last meeting following a lack of applicants from the School of Nursing.

SA President Christian Zidouemba said in his report that he is working with his cabinet and other SA members to continue research on providing Plan B machines on campus.

Vice President Yan Xu said the SA is working with GW Transportation and Logistics Services to collaborate with Lyft to provide discounted electric scooters for students.

“Currently, it’s $1 to rent a scooter and an additional 44 cents per minute to ride,” he said. “And I will go to offer students discounts to explore D.C. to their fullest potential while still being able to return back to campus safely.”

Xu said he will update the student body as GW continues to negotiate with Lyft.

Director and Title IX Coordinator Asha Reynolds and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Kiera Bloore presented on the Title IX office’s prevention trainings and response policies to senators. They said this July, the office convened a Title IX task force, composed of students, faculty and staff across about 21 departments, to address the Department of Education’s proposed updates to federal guidelines.

Senators unanimously approved SA Sen. Ian Ching, ESIA-U, to serve as chair of the finance committee after the former chair, Daniel Sandoval, resigned. Ching said he plans to largely maintain last year’s allocations process and provide information on allocations to student organizations to “ensure stability.”

“Whenever you have a change in the system, people get confused about what the new system is,” Ching said. “It was changed last year, I’m not going to change it again.”

The next senate meeting will be held on Sept. 19 at 8:30 p.m. in the Elliott School state room.

This post has been updated to correct the following:

The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Yan Xu is the executive vice president. Xu is the vice president. The Hatchet also incorrectly reported that the SA is working with GW Transportation and Logistics to collaborate with Lyft to provide discounted electric scooters for students on the Mount Vernon campus. They are working to provide discounted electric scooters for all students. We regret these errors.

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