SG passes bill that alters ‘sweep’ statutes

According to the author of the bill, Yousef Afifi, the exemption was rarely used by A&S funded departments and student organizations. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

A bill that the Student Government (SG) Senate resoundingly passed Tuesday night may impact existing statutes relating to how rollover Activity and Service (A&S) fees that are allocated to departments and student organizations are collected.

Though, according to the author of the bill, Senate Pro Tempore Yousef Afifi, this will likely have little effect on any current A&S funded entities.

“This really doesn’t affect anything per se, anything that’s currently on the books or in the works,” Afifi said. “This is something that kind of polishes our statutes by bringing it more in line and conforming with Florida statutes.”

The Florida statute that governs A&S dollars, a fee paid by every student which varies per school, states that all unexpended funds shall be carried over and remain in each school’s A&S account to allocate for the next year.

Afifi said the exemptions as they stood before were in “direct contradiction” to this Florida statute.

Prior to the passing of SG’s bill, individual student organizations or departments — Campus Recreation, Center for Student Involvement and the Office of Multicultural Affairs to name a few — could apply to have some or all of their A&S allocation rollover exempt from this complete “sweep,” according to previous SG statutes.

If Student Body President Moneer Kheireddine signs this bill, that is no longer the case. He could not be reached for comment on whether he plans to sign the bill or not.   

Even if signed into SG law, this will likely have little to no immediate impact due to no current student organizations or departments actually utilizing this exemption, according to Afifi.

Some departments, like Campus Recreation, have pre-arranged contractual agreements relating to funding which will not be affected either. One example of this would be an agreement Campus Recreation has with SG for funds used for regular equipment replacement.

Renee Hunt, director of communication and marketing for Student Affairs, told The Oracle in an email that Dean of Students Danielle McDonald is “looking into the bill and what impact it will have on Student Affairs & Student Success departments.”

Afifi said that even though this exemption is scarcely used, he viewed it as something he needed to take action on.

“Just because it’s not something that’s caused a problem because it hasn’t been utilized in the past frequently, doesn’t mean that it should be there if it has the potential to cause a problem in the future,” Afifi said.