SGA approves budget granting members scholarships

SGA approved the 2007-2008 budget giving House of Student Representatives members scholarships and reducing funding to the Activities Funding Board. Previously, the House of Student Representatives’ Finance Committee rejected the budget because not enough funding was allocated to organizational funding. The House approved the proposed budget Tuesday after a debate over several issues ranging from scholarships to whether members out of dress code could vote. The budget passed with a 22-9 vote with three abstentions. For the vote to pass, a two-thirds majority was needed.

The bill was contested by Mark Tschirhart, a sophomore prehealth major and House parliamentarian, who said the Finance Committee did not have enough time to debate. During the Finance Committee meetings, no debate over the budget took place.

Kirk Kindy, a freshman political science major and member of the House, said two Finance Committee meetings took place but the turnout was not enough for debate to take place.

Jace Thompson, student body president, said in his opening statement to the House Assembly that he believed the budget would keep the student body’s interests in mind and would be a good budget for the next year.

In the proposed budget, the funding for Activities Funding Board for 2007-2008 has been lowered to $30,000 a semester from $38,000 a semester in 2006-2007.

Thompson said the AFB was created in 2005 to allow individual organizations to apply for funding.

Larry Markley, adviser to the SGA Executive Board, disagreed with the amount of funding allotted to Activities Funding Board because he said it was never intended to provide student organizations with so much money.

Thompson said in an e-mail he did not believe that providing an organization with more than $60,000 was a prudent idea because of the record-keeping problems AFB faced in the past.

When an organization receives funding, it is obligated to turn in receipts of what was purchased with the provided funds. However, not all organizations returned their receipts to the AFB, said Nate Arnold, student body treasurer.

An additional $10,000 for co-programming was added, allowing student organizations to work with SGA on the marketing of their events.