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Student Government: SG Senate passes A&S allocation bill

After nearly five months of preparation by the Activity and Service Recommendation Committee (ASRC), the allocation bill for A&S fees for the 2008-2009 fiscal year easily passed the Senate on Tuesday night.

With A&S fees rising next fall to $8.79 per credit hour (plus a $7 flat fee), ASRC had $10.7 million to work with, up about $600,000 from last year. After passing the Senate with a 19-1 vote (two abstentions), the bill now waits to be signed or vetoed by SG President Garin Flowers and University President Judy Genshaft.

The allocation is divided into four categories, with the distribution breakdown as follows:

  • $6,939,872 to Student Programs and Services.
  • $2,226,238 to SG Operations.
  • $782,358 to Student Organizations.
  • $786,000 to Reserve Accounts.

“There are a lot of factors that go into each one of these individual allocations,” SG adviser David Armstrong said. “They’re not, across the board, going to be completely even – some organizations are bigger than others, some have more expensive projects – but because it is a committee of student representation, the idea is that it’s as fair as really can be.”

ASRC Chair Juan Soltero thinks student organizations should be a priority when looking at budget requests. If the bill gets signed, student organizations will get about $117,000 more than last year, but with more than $2 million requested from 170 organizations, Soltero knows it’s impossible to please everyone.

“It’s hard because the chief financial officers of a lot of these organizations don’t understand the rules, so a lot of things we’re not supposed to allocate because the rules limit us,” Soltero said.

Each student organization asking for aid from A&S fees submitted a budget request to the ASRC, and if an organization disagreed with the decision, an appeal could be made. Armstrong said the allocation to student organizations is based on requested projects and travel, previous funding and expenditures, and organization status.

SG operations will have about $71,000 more to work with next year; however, one operation is being cut. Courtesy phones, located throughout campus and available to make free local calls, will be removed. Armstrong said they aren’t needed anymore because nearly all students have cell phones or have friends who can lend them cell phones.

Shortly after the bill was passed, senators for next year’s term nominated and elected a Senate President and Senate President Pro Tempore, as well as chairs for the five Senate committees.

Soltero, who was praised by several Senators for his history in SG, including heading the ASRC committee, was elected Senate President. Soltero will take over for Nathan Davison as chair of the Senate.

“I’m very happy right now,” Soltero said. “It’s a very exciting moment in my Student Government career and as a student here. I feel like I can do a lot of good things for the student body.”

Jerry Trotter was voted as the new Senate President Pro Tempore. Trotter, a six-year member of the Marines, will replace Nicole Randazzo.

“It means a lot to me because I’ve been working very, very hard, and I’ve invested a lot of time in (SG),” Trotter said. “I’m really hoping to make a positive impact.”

New Student Government Officials

  • Senate President – Juan Soltero
  • Senate Pro Tempore – Jerry Trotter
  • Rules, Judicial and Legislative Affairs Chair – Bruno Portigliatti
  • Interim Funding and Transfers Chair – Daniel Shelnutt
  • Organizational Outreach Chair – Justin Trotter
  • University Relations Chair – Vikie Vakirtzis
  • Internal Affairs Chair – Benjamin Brown