Largest SGA budget to date, passed

A bill to establish the Student Government Association’s budget for 2011-2012 was passed Tuesday night in the House of Student Representatives.

After making a correction to a typo in the bill, the House tabled the bill and was able to pass the budget with a majority vote.

Brent Folan, student body treasurer, said the budget for 2011-2012 was the largest in the history of SGA. The total budget was $640,000.

Folan said there were some new areas where money would be allocated in the budget. He said the executive cabinet and theCrew, TCU’s student programming, would be working together to produce a spring concert next year. Other highlights include a new program for freshmen called Frogs First.

Brett Phillips, SGA adviser, said Frogs First would be a program that promotes team building in first year students. Money allocated to the program would include social events, supplies for leaders, food and T-shirts.

Ryan Hoff, a senior finance and political science double major representing the Neeley School of Business, said he wanted to remind the House to make sure they felt the money was allocated in the best way before voting.

Student relations committee chair Dalton Goodier said although everyone might not be completely happy with the budget, it was well done and suggested to go forward with it.

After House members found a mistake in the bill, Dane Thompson, a chemistry major and College of Science and Engineering representative, suggested to table the bill in order to fix the error. The error read “preparation” instead of “compensation.” Once fixed, the bill passed with a majority vote.

A bill to support the Japan disaster relief efforts of the student body was also passed. The bill allocated the rest of the emergency funding money for the semester, around $500, to the cause.

Co-author of the bill Lizzy Caudill, the elections and regulations committee chair and president of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, said if the money was allocated to APO it would give the student organization an opportunity to promote awareness of the Japan disaster across the TCU campus.

Pearce Edwards, APO vice president, said the money would also go to care packages for the disaster victims. Packages would include essential items like toothbrushes and toilet paper. APO would encourage students to purchase items for the packages, as well as raising overall awareness by selling disaster relief T-shirts and organizing a free benefit concert.

Trevor Melvin, the House parliamentarian, said he was concerned about the potential of a “slippery slope” when giving money to a non-profit organization. He was also worried about an incorrect interpretation the charitable contributions clause.

Caudill said the bill was legal because the money would be allocated to the APO student organization, not directly to Japan disaster relief. She also said APO is a community service organization does not take money and give it to any venue. She said the organization would use the money to promote awareness of the Japan disaster to the TCU community.

The bill passed with a majority vote.

In other news, the Activities Funding Board Members were announced to the House. The new members are Hannah Kunnemann, Moriah Sallis, Lauren Sharp, Topper Sheehy and Jeff Tushaus.

Student Government Association

Budget Fiscal Year 2011-2012

Total Income: $640,000

Total Expenses: $640,000

Executive Branch: $195,755

Legislative Branch: $65,345

Programming: $378,650

Judicial Branch: $250

Funds allocated for concerts:

Fall 2011: $130,000

Spring 2012: $27,995