Tuesday night’s meeting of the Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriation Committee was all anti-climax, with the Senators having to put off voting on the draft budget they put together before Spring Break until Thursday.
Because details are still unclear on how the Student Activities Commission and the Performing Arts Advisory Council will adopt the remaining reforms of the six GUSA compelling the advisory boards to adopt, the FinApp Committee opted to hold off on passing the budget on to the Senate tonight until those details were fleshed out, instead of allocating $0 to PAAC and SAC and funding them later. Either way, the Senate should still consider the budget this upcoming Sunday.
For their part, SAC has yet to adopt an accountable selection process for their Chair. Senator Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) reported that SAC Chair Ethel Amponsah (NHS ’11) has just named her successor using the same closed process by which former chairs Aakib Khaled (SFS ’10) and Sophia Behnia (COL ’09) selected their successors.
Another senator said he felt that the application for SAC Chair, which asks whether applicants would respond to criticisms of SAC by rebutting them or by changing SAC, is still “designed to weed out people who want to change it.”
SAC is also testing a new ‘bulk budget’ system, Laverriere said, to comply with the lump-sum funding reform. This semester, each of the 12 SAC Commissioners will pick one group for which they’ll allocate a lump sum and then consider additional allocations on a case by case basis. After this test run, each commissioner will select which of his or her groups are ready for lump sum funding this semester. They will phase it in for all groups at the beginning of next year. An all-new set of new funding guidelines will also be introduced this spring.
SAC’s adoption of the remaining reforms—and the details of how they will do so should be more concrete by the end of the week—will determine how much GUSA allocates to them. Currently, they are only drafted to receive $12,500. But the same is not true for PAAC, which will receive the $25,000 they requested once they determine what level they will keep their reserves at (they are awaiting a suggestion from the University administration) and finalize a confirmation process for their leaders.
PAAC “still seems to be resistant on the [public] voting issue,” however, Senator Colton Malkerson (COL ’13), said, having been amenable to that before. But overall, Senators are pleased with PAAC’s cooperation.
The meeting concluded with a brief update from a representative from the GUSA Club Fund, who said that so far, they have approved about $6,500 for funding to many clubs, 60 – 70 percent of which were SAC clubs. Many of the groups they had seen were new groups, which because they were not well established, had trouble getting money for their events, which they often planned sporadically.
An earlier version of this post indicated that only some groups would be eligible for lump sum funding. This is incorrect—all groups will be phased into lump-sum funding next semester.