By Olivia Bousquet
A trifecta of meetings occurred April 27 for the Student Association. The evening consisted of three back-to-back meetings involving a joint meeting with the executive committee and the senate, then an executive meeting and ending with a senate meeting. The reason for the meetings was to approve of the new budget for the following academic year.
A weight was lifted off of the SA’s metaphorical shoulders after the SA mandatory fee passed in a referendum vote April 26. The re-vote passed with 84.3% of the 1,365 students who voted, according to an email from James Sherman. In the SA election April 20, the fee received 45.4% toward “yes” of 1,011 students who voted. With the revote passing the required SA mandatory fee for the following academic year, the SA discussed the budget.
The SA will have a budget of $1,104,455 for the 2022-23 academic year. SA Treasurer Shreshth Kumar presented the estimated money coming in from different sources. The SA mandatory fee will be $80 per semester for students, which would give the SA an income of $600,215. About $19,140 will come in from revenue from ticketed events. The College Auxiliary Services calculated $485,100 will come from unallocated funds, and $60,000 will be from funding for additional allocations.
The Student Association fee helps fund several aspects of campus life, including clubs and organizations, the shuttle bus, events and extended hours in the library and learning center.
The biggest point of topic on the budget was the lack of funding for concerts from the Activities Coordination Board. Some of the concert budget had been moved to the travel budget.
Coordinator of Activities Leman Hanifayeva said the board couldn’t fund a concert with a big-named artist who would attract students to attend. She also said students preferred trips, according to a student form. Hanifayeva noted that the Spring Carnival will have musical talent, but it will be from students.
Countering Hanifayeva, Senator Aissatou Lo said JEDI Dance Productions was able to get well-known rap artist Dusty Locane to perform for its event April 30.
Coordinator for Student Affairs and Diversity Ohemaa Owusu-Poku said she never received a student form asking whether she preferred concerts or trips. It was later discussed the form had a low response rate and doesn’t fully reflect the opinions of the student body.
Owusu-Poku said she doesn’t want to be “neglecting student needs,” and the SA needs to be “considerate of students.”
It was discussed to find a better way to learn more about what students want from the SA budget, potentially through a survey.
Next year’s SA adviser Steve Matthews cautioned SA members in the wording of surveys. He said if students were given the option of trips or concerts, they would most likely choose a concert. However, the student body doesn’t know the cost of putting on a concert, such as lighting, sound and paying the artist.
Ultimately, the executive and senate passed the 2022-23 SA budget.
In other SA news, the joint meeting nominated a recipient of the 2022 Martin D. Mannix Meritorious Service Award. Four SA members, Mac-Olivier Lalanne, Lisette Linares, Bailey Dell’Erba and Ohemaa Owusu-Poku, were nominated for their work in the SA. The SA members voted via a secret ballot, and the recipient will be announced at the banquet.
The executive board made a change to two executive by-laws. The coordinator of clubs and organizations and the coordinator of activities would be picked by the current legislation for the next legislation. This was agreed upon by the student body as well during the SA election.
There was concern from former Senator Ryan Ferguson in the “vagueness in the wording on how to hire” the new coordinators. A motion was made to amend the by-law to include that the hiring committee must recommend a coordinator to the current legislation by the election.
Both of these by-laws and the amendments passed in the executive committee and then in the senate.
During the senate meeting, the National Association of Black Accountants requested $1,456 for its Spring Brunch. This will be the club’s first event on campus May 7 at noon in the Warren Ballrooms. Tickets are $5 for SA members and $7 for non-SA members. Representative Owusu-Poku said the brunch will have keynote speakers from the business profession, prizes and raffles. The money would go to helping pay the speaker, prizes and paying Chartwells for food.