Posted by Kat Kullman
On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Senate of the Student Government Association discussed a resolution to allocate funding from retained funds to the Drastic Measures a cappella group, as well as a resolution to establish Willingness-to-Serve operating codes.
"The Budget Rollover section of the financial policies states that ‘it is not permissible to roll over revenue if it has been in the club or committee's revenue account for longer than one year...'" Jono Zeiden, vice president for Financial Affairs, said.
However, the Drastic Measures approached the Senate in order to request that the group be given funds it had raised at the end of 2008, but had lost due to an error in a loan and miscommunication with SGA.
The Drastics had earned a total of $1,149 worth of CD sales and fundraising by the end of 2008 and much of that money was intended to pay back a loan it had taken out in order to create the CD. However, the loan was denied at the end of 2008, but the group was never notified of this. It was not until this year that group realized that the money had not gone through to the loan and instead had been absorbed back into SGA.
Bryce Klatsky '11 and Emily Conner-Simons '13 addressed the Senate body to request that the funds be returned to the group despite the SGA policy.
"We're only about $400 short of paying back our loan. We're asking for the money we earned. We understand that this sets a dangerous precedent, but it's important to understand that we applied correctly and that this money was lost due to miscommunications," Klatsky said.
Zeidan spoke to the rationale behind the policy and explained why letting even one club receive a rollover fund is dangerous. "We budget for each year. If we allow rollover, it creates incentive for clubs to save their money instead of spending it and it becomes a slippery slope. This situation isn't about whether the money should be applied to the Drastic's loan or not, it's about whether it fits into our policy," Zeidan said.
After a long discussion about the policy and the situation at hand, the Senate voted to uphold the policy and to deny the Drastic Measures the funds.
"The Drastic Measures request for a budget rollover, albeit of revenue the club raised above its required revenue line, did not comply with the aforementioned financial policy. Consequently, the request was not recommended by the Budget and Finance committee, and ultimately not passed by Senate," Zeidan said.
The group was denied the money by a margin of four votes.
Next, Jenny Snow ‘11, vice president for Communication and Outreach, and Dan DeMartini '11, Northwoods senator, presented a resolution to establish Willingness-to-Serve operating codes. Willingness-to-Serve is an election process that allows students to sit on numerous campus committees after an interview process.
These new operating codes would create a solid set of rules for the process of electing the students and the purpose of Willingness-to-Serve.
"Willingness didn't have a definite role, and we were appointing people without clarification," DeMartini said.
DeMartini hoped that this would help get the student body more involved. "This set of codes will help us not just to advertise for Willingness, but to really reach out to the community," DeMartini said.
"It establishes Willingness-to-Serve as a subcommittee of the Communication and Outreach Committee. My thinking is that freeing up half of Communication and Outreach will help to open things up and allow Willingness to do a lot outside elections. It's nitpicky stuff right now, but it's very necessary," Snow said.
The resolution to establish the operating codes was passed unanimously.