At yesterday’s GUSA meeting, Senators forged ahead with plans for the GUSA Fund and were briefed by the executive branch about the Readership program and buses to basketball game. Here’s the wrap:
The GUSA Fund
In a unanimous vote, GUSA passed a bill that would transfer $4,000 of its own funds into the recently created GUSA Fund. The $4,000 will be matched by $26,000 from the Funding Board for a total of $30,000. The transfer of $4,000 of GUSA’s own money was meant to show the Senate’s commitment to the new fund.
Colton Malkerson (COL ‘13), a sponsor of the bill, stated that “We do think the GUSA fund is important, necessary and will benefit students, so certainly we thought that GUSA could easily put forward $4,000.” Malkerson added that the bill was “an act of good faith for the GUSA fund.”
Earlier in the meeting, GUSA unanimously approved the removal of all money from the GUSA Reserve Fund and its transfer to the Funding Board reserves. The transfer was made in part because a GUSA reserve would conflict with the spirit of GUSA’s recent club funding reform bill, which urged advisory boards to cut their reserves.
Senator Nick Troiano (COL ’11), who voted for the bill, argued that it was a “good resolution because it is consistent with what the GUSA Senate is trying to do.”
It appears that few within GUSA even knew of the existence of their reserve fund until it surfaced during GUSA’s efforts to limit the reserve funds of other advisory boards. Malkerson, who sponsored the bill, said that he doesn’t think anyone in GUSA knew about it, and that it was brought to his attention by SAC advisor Bill McCoy.
A visit from Angert and Kluger
The meeting also featured an executive briefing from both Vice President Jason Kluger and President Calen Angert. Kluger and Angert both touched upon the possibility of GUTS buses to basketball games, but Angert made clear that the executive was still exploring the possible options.
Angert also provided an update on the selection process for GUSA Fund committee members, which he says will be finished by February. That would allow the GUSA Fund to begin operation before the end of the year. And Kluger said that the Collegiate Readership Program was set to begin on Febrauary 1.
The meeting ended with a discussion of each senator’s goals for the next semester and a short debate on the feasibility of changing the date of the GUSA presidential election.
Several senators noted that debates and legislation in GUSA are often dominated by a handful of senators and argued that increased communication between committees and the general senate could spark more active participation among all members. There was also a discussion on how to streamline the election process to increase voter turnout. No date has been set for the election.