Posts Tagged “FinApp Committee”
On Thursday night, the Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriations Committee passed a budget on to the full GUSA Senate with allocations for most of the advisory boards. The Performing Arts Advisory Council and Student Activities Commission were allocated $0, neither board having signed an agreement with FinApp to enact the remaining GUSA reforms for the advisory boards.
SAC is still resisting GUSA pressure to institute public voting on student clubs’ budget, a sticking point that FinApp members and SAC will try to resolve soon. PAAC, by contrast, does not seem to be resistant to any of the reforms they still have left to implement. At tonight’s FinApp meeting, Senator Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) said that PAAC’s members wanted more time to review the agreement proposed by GUSA and were also awaiting discussions with the Vice President for Student Affairs’s office about how to spend down their reserves from $134,000 to $50,000.
FinApp is holding the $25,000 it anticipates allocating to PAAC in GUSA’s reserves until PAAC signs its agreement. The committee passed the budget unanimously.
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Tomorrow night, the Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriation Committee, feeling the need to submit a budget for student activiteis to the full Senate, will pass a budget on to the GUSA Senate with allocations for all of the advisory boards except for the Student Activities Commission. The FinApp Committee will allocate money to SAC, which still has not agreed to make its members’ votes on club funding public, in the coming weeks in a separate allocation.
FinApp member Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) said that members of FinApp made the decision after a meeting with Director of Student Programs Erika Cohen-Derr, Associate Dean for Finance & Administration Lynn Hirschfeld, and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanne Lord where they advised FinApp to pass a budget which would allocate funds to the other five advisory boards, and then work out the remaining issues with SAC.
Members of SAC will meet with these administrators in next week, before administrators, SAC, and FinApp members meet all together to try to reach compromise. If they cannot reach an agreement there, an impartial administrator may decide whether SAC needs open votes. However, FinApp members have indicated that they are very reluctant to bring in direct administrative involvement.
Because of rules that stipulate the budget must allocate to all boards, the budget they will pass on to the full Senate will technically allocate an actual dollar amount—$0—to SAC.
Reporting by Eric Pilch
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This week, seduced by the beautiful weather, the Georgetown University Student Association Senate convened its weekly meeting on Healy lawn. Senators reclined on the grass as their fellow students blissfully threw footballs and beanbags and held a relaxed, banal Senate session, with no new legislation coming up for a vote.
Club Funding and SAC: The meeting featured a briefing from the Finance and Appropriations Committee, whose chair, Nick Troiano (COL ’11) said that his committee had created a draft budget for comment and appeal, but that the committee had received no comments or appeals.
Senator Greg Laverriere (COL ’12) provided a briefing on his meeting with representatives from the Student Activities Commission and University administrators. He said they had managed to compromise on several of the issue but still disagreed over open voting, which GUSA believes SAC should institute.
SAC has resisted open votes, noting that the nature of the votes can be very controversial. Laverriere said that several compromises had been proposed, including a trial run of open voting that could be ended if the process proved disastrous, but none of them had been agreed upon. Laverriere suggested that ultimately the university might select an impartial administrator to settle the dispute.
Executive Briefing: Both GUSA President Calen Angert (MSB ’11) and Vice-President Jason Kluger (MSB ’11) provided briefings at the meeting. Angert said that he and Kluger had been making changes to the executive board.
“We’re definitely expanding the executive board in terms of size,” said Angert.
Angert also said that over spring break the GUSA Summer Fellows had received a $6,000 private donation, and that the application for the Summer Fellows Program would be online beginning today.
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At the start of the new club funding process, the Student Activities Commission requested $35,000 from the Georgetown University Student Association, the new guardians of our Student Activities Fee, only to be scoffed at: in the draft budget it proposed just before Spring Break, the Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriations Committee suggested that SAC get a total allocation of a mere $12,500.
The FinApp Committee meant this miserly counter-’offer’ as a rebuke of SAC for having refused to adopt some of GUSA’s six reforms for advisory boards—”in recognition that the Commission is in good standing with some, but not all, of the reform proposals,” in the words of the FinApp committee. But if the committee hoped its penny-pinching would coerce SAC into adopting the remaining reforms, for the moment, they’re going to be disappointed. In an e-mail to SAC club leaders sent today, SAC Chair Ethel Amponsah (NHS ’11) tells clubs to brace themselves for the limitations the meager GUSA allocation will place on SAC allocation, even as it dips into its reserves.
“I would like to note that SAC has complied with 4 out of the 6 recommendations in an effort to compromise with the Committee,” she wrote. “The draft budget reduces SAC’s allocation budget by about 15%. Please consider how this will effect your organizational budget as this reduction will be felt across all SAC groups …. FinApp would like to mandate that SAC use the excess funds for its allocation budget. However, that is not sustainable as within two years the excess funds would be depleted and SAC would still receive insufficient funds from FinApp.”
SAC’s reserves, she said, are currently at $215,000, and the Office of Student Affairs has suggested that it should maintain reserves of at least $150,000.
In response to Amponsah’s claims, Chair of the FinApp Committee Nick Troiano (COL ’11) said that SAC had only made good faith efforts towards completing three of the six reforms GUSA would like it to make. They are still not disclosing how their individual members vote on allocations, he said, they do not yet have a plan to spend down their reserves, and they do not have a method for picking their leadership that is accountable to the student body.
Read more, plus Amponsah’s full message after the jump, and a statement from members of the FinApp Committee after the jump.
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The Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriations Committee has drafted a budget for the fiscal year 2010 allocation of the Student Activities Fee. Here is the breakdown of the draft budget, along with comments made by the FinApp Committee explaining the draft allocation amounts:
- The Georgetown Programming Board requested $45,000 and the FinApp Committee has suggested they receive $42,500
“This represents a substantial 11.84% increase in allocated student activity fee money from last year’s allocation ($38,000). The main reasons for the increased allocation are increasing busing costs, an increase in the number of cultural events, the desire to increase the caliber of the annual Spring Kickoff Concert, and to deliver more overall programming benefiting the student body.”
- SAC requested $37,000 and the draft allocation is for $12,500, less than half of their request.
“In our draft budget, our committee decided to allocate the Student Activities Commission $12,500 out of its $37,500 requested this year, in recognition that the Commission is in good standing with some, but not all, of the reform proposals. The committee has set aside an additional $12,500 to be allocated if SAC comes to a compromise on the fourth and fifth points of reform.
“The potential total of $25,000 is significantly less than the funding request because the Commission, as determined by the Vice President’s office, possesses over $60,000 in excess reserve funds. We would expect the Commission to begin spending down this reserve to cover the balance of this allocation, and not cut back on club funding. Furthermore, it is noted that several members of the Committee have advocated a $0 allocation for the Commission for as long as it fails to comply with the outstanding two reform points.”
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