Senate debates groups’ budget requests

Student Government’s Senate voted Tuesday to distribute just over $1,830 for a Sports Medicine Interest Group and $1,198 for a group of student hackers who compete in computer security competitions.

But most of the discussion during the Senate’s weekly meeting revolved around a bill that would have sent $3,682 – of which $2,060 is for travel costs – to the Athletic Training Student Association, a campus group for students interested in athletic training and sports medicine.

A handful of senators objected to the budget request submitted by the group, saying the members, some of whom were former senators, understood how to work the system and had overstated their financial needs, particularly their $3,000 request for travel in flight costs for 10 members to fly to a conference in Atlanta.

“I feel like they’re using the system to their advantage, being that they’re former SG members,” Senate Pro Tempore Nicole Randazzo said. “I don’t see why they just can’t drive to Atlanta.”

The bill, which the Senate requested be reworked and reconsidered at a future meeting, was defended by members of SG’s budget committee, who said traveling to the conference was the student group’s first priority.

“The group came to us and said travel was their first priority,” said senator Brittany Borland, who serves on the budget committee. “Who are we to judge an organization’s priorities?”

Though the budget committee pared down the group’s $3,000 travel request by nearly $1,000, the $2,060 allotted for travel expense in the bill was nearly $1,200 more than the travel expenses allotted to the Sports Medicine Interest Group, which has 40 more members than the Athletic Training Student Association.

“These two organizations are essentially the same, but one is twice the size of the other,” said Rules Committee Chair Keenan Arodak. “I just can’t fathom why we’d fund travel expenses for an organization this small when we can’t fund the travel requests of the larger group. How can you explain that?”

David Guidi can be reached at (813) 974-1888 or