Meningall signs SG executive branch budget

The Student Government 2009-10 executive branch budget passed Friday with Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Meningall’s signature.

The budget, which totals $318,255.78, is an increase of $61,024.76 from the 2008-09 executive branch budget.

The Student Resource Agency (SRA) was merged with the executive branch this year, which accounts for a portion of the budget increase.

Though the senate passed the budget May 19, a resolution was passed June 23 to review it because of concerns from students.

Meningall said there was a calculation error in the budget when it was first submitted, and that it was sent back to the executive branch to be fixed.

When the error was fixed, the budget was again given to Meningall for review. She had 10 business days to come to a decision.

“It is not the budget that I would have submitted,” Meningall said. “Frankly, it is not based upon the priorities that I see as vice president for Student Affairs.”

She said that when reviewing the budget, she checked for things that conflicted with University policy, state rules and regulations or auditing practices.

Meningall said the quality of the budget is voted on through the senate, which passed it
May 19.

“The executive branch gets to submit a budget to the senate, which … is elected to represent the student body,” she said. “The senate has an obligation to look at that budget from the standpoint of what is in the best interest, in their opinion, of the student body.”

Meningall said the issues she is concerned with are the needs of commuter students, graduate students, USF Health and student safety.

“Those four elements were what I asked them to put into their executive budget as a condition of my signing it,” she said.

Meningall said she questioned the necessity of hiring more students to the executive branch staff. She said the executive branch determined that there was a need for the additional positions, specifically in the areas of traditions, social and multicultural programs.

“I again think it’s up to the senate to challenge that and hold the (executive) branch accountable for doing it,” Meningall said.