Represents the Registrar… or until recently, GUSA’s budget
Keeping his promise from last week, GUSA Speaker Reggie Greer (COL ’09) started off this week’s meeting with a rather lengthy brief from the Registrar about MyAccess, the (unpopular) new information system. Here’s the one-sentence version: After Y2K, the Provost started the $14 million process of changing from Student Access + to MyAccess, which finished testing in the fall and will be rolled out slowly in the next year or so.
When students began to use the new system to preregister for Fall ’09 classes, the Reg said he told his wife, “Eat a big breakfast, because at the end of the day I might be toast.” As of Wednesday, he said, the number of people whose preregistration requests had been approved was only in the double digits. Let’s hope this toast falls jelly side up.
But the fun really began later in the evening when your favorite Band of Bros took on the budget. Newly inaugurated President Calen Angert (MSB ’11) opened up the can of worms by urging the importance of getting campus clubs to spend down the $700,000 they have squirreled away in interest-free rainy day funds. Matt Wagner (SFS ’11), (back from a two-week absence due to his role in Mask and Bauble’s production of Jekyll and Hyde), bristled at the idea, askingAngert why he thinks spending down those reserves is a responsible decision.
GUSA’s failure to approve their budget has made other student organizations confused, if not a little frustrated. Ever the peacemaker, Reggie reminded the Senate that they’re leaving clubs in financial limbo.
“It looks like we’re on ten different pages, when really what’s happening is that we’re on the same page, just in ten different spots,” he said. Here’s hoping the slow readers can pick up the pace.
Vice Speaker Nick Troiano (COL ’11) introduced two bills, the first to create a student commission to investigate new sources of funding for community service. The Finance Appropriations Committee balked at the idea of someone else looking into money matters. Matt, in particular, took the matter personally.
“This looks like AN ACT TO: circumvent an existing Senate committee as well as CSJ board,” he said.
Then, the real issue came out: Nick attacked the budget Matt helped create as the head of the FAC, at which point Matt took it upon himself to leave the room with two buddies so the Senate would lose quorum and couldn’t vote on anything.
Fortunately, the absence of a quorum has to be suggested by someone in the room before the Senate loses its potency, and no one did until after they’d past Nick’s first bill, and thoroughly discussed the other. This one brought the budget issue full-circle: it’s a bill that uses the last of GUSA’s leverage (read: refusing to approve the budget) to force the funding board to meet some higher standards. Like what? Filing paperwork, a pretty lofty goal for a body that had no oversight three years ago. And spending down those rainy day funds too. This bill passed as well, no thanks to Matt, who was eventually persuaded to come back into the room.
Just another day’s work for the Georgetown student Senators. And don’t forget, next meeting after elections, there’s going to be ten more of them. I hope there will be name games. Two truths and a lie with the GUSA Senate? Yes please.
Photo from Flickr user FrancoisRoche using a Creative Commons license.