Monday, March 27, 2023

Students vote down SA fee

By Olivia Bousquet

The biggest statement at the Student Association senate meeting April 20 came from Adviser Jacob Avery while addressing the Student Association mandatory fee being voted “no” for next academic year. 

The SA fee supports services such as the shuttle bus, extended library and learning center hours, events and Greek life. However, for the SA elections, 54.6% of 1,011 voting student participants voted “no” for the mandatory fee. 

Avery started his statement at the end of the SA meeting by saying he was at a loss of words. The vote against the mandatory fee shows the voting student population doesn’t deem the fee as a necessary expense, which would remove many purposes of the SA. Avery said it was “disgusting what happened here,” and asked “why is the SA here?” 

“If I was in your shoes, I would be embarrassed,” Avery said to the SA senators. 

In other SA news, the finance board approved setting the SA mandatory fee at $80 per semester for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The $80 was based on the money spent within the past year, but it was the lowest it could be without jeopardizing the budget. With the current failed mandatory fee, students would be able to decide not to pay the fee. The senate voted and approved of the $80 fee. 

The senate voted on recipients for two awards. The first was for the Nancy Racette Award, which is awarded to a supporting staff member of the Student Association. There was no nomination for this, and it failed in the voting process. The other award was for William D. Laundry Award, which is awarded to a professor, administrator or faculty. The award had three nominations who were Dr. Camelo, director of the health center; Amanda Suriel, the international student adviser in the Global Education Office; Jim Sherman, assistant director of community living and campus housing, and Leah Sweeney, the interim director of events management. 

The senators wrote one of the nominated names on a blank piece of paper, and the results were tallied by Avery. The recipient will be announced at the end of year banquet. 

A finance board officer presented the updated finance board policy. There was a change for the art in the voting for the coordinator position. This was decided during the SA election with 88.4% participants voting yes. The change allows for the position to be either elected or appointed rather than solely elected by the student body.

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