Senate Allocates Funds to Five Clubs As Debate Extends Meeting
By Sarah Hinck and Miranda Feeley, Staff Writers
The focal point of this week’s Student Senate meeting was undeniably the six club budget proposals that amounted to roughly $12,000 of the $91,511 that the Senate is granted each year to spend on new initiatives.
Having previously overspent its New Initiatives Budget by $23,000 during the 2016-2017 school year, Senate Treasurer Sarah Berkowitz has urged Senate to take a cautious approach to this year’s budget allocation process.
Berkowitz said that she aims to keep the Senate informed regarding how much money has been allocated and spent by presenting these totals at the Student Senate meetings, which she hopes will make students more aware and conscious of financial decisions that are being made. If Senate does overspend its budget for new initiatives, it can use money that is in a rollover account of unspent funds from prior years.
“It’s there so if we do allot the entire New Initiatives fund, we can still provide our clubs with money,” said Senate President Luke Frigon. “It’s a safety net, of sorts.”
- At Monday’s meeting, Senate considered five of the six budget requests on the table and approved four of the five in their entirety:
- Latin American Student Association was allocated $2,155.13 towards six events this semester.
- Model United Nations was allocated $ 4,405.74 t o w a r d s upcoming conferences.
- Pre-Vet Club was allocated $1,405.54, $70 less than it requested as Senate declined to approve funding for a club fundraiser.
- Fly Fishing was allocated $1,138.50 to purchase fishing rods and support upcoming events. This request drew questions about how necessary the rods were to the club and if the club had done everything in its power to secure the lowest price possible, but, in the end, it was approved in full.
- Black Student Union was allocated $1,737.75 towards two events and transportation for a fundraiser.
- 26th Pennsylvania College Guard, which had requested $1,440 towards a reenactment at Cedar Creek it attended last weekend, had its budget request tabled due to the Senate meeting running over its allotted time.
Extensive debate occurred over whether Senate should fund club fundraisers. Senator Nick Arbaugh suggested that if clubs wanted money from Senate to fundraise, Senate should then receive some form of reimbursement.
Meanwhile, club representative Hailey Dedrick said that she thought senators could use a training session surrounding the new protocols for approving budgets. In addition to budget requests, at the end of the meeting, Senate recognized the Brown Nipple Collective to support women of color on campus.