SGA tables bill that would have eliminated funding for Frog Aides


Frog Aides from the 2021-2022 school year (Lia Perez/Frog Aides Co-Director)

By Ella Mercer, Staff Writer

Plans to scrap all SGA funding for the Frog Aides program were shelved Tuesday after an impassioned speech from Vivian Blakeley, next year’s Frog Aides co-director.

The tabled budget proposed reallocated the $27,500 budget of the leadership program for first-years to the fall concert budget. The spending plan also increased student organization funding and cut $10,000 from SGA programming and conference funding.

The budget is expected to be revised this week and presented to the House at its next meeting.

The Ad Hoc Appropriations Committee, chaired by SGA Treasurer Robby Gay, proposed the cuts  without consulting with Frog Aides.

After Gay yielded the remainder of his time for Blakeley to speak on behalf of Frog Aides, Blakeley said she was surprised by the budget cuts. 

“Completely killing the budget would really detrimentally affect the program,” said Blakely, a sophomore majoring in philosophy and political science. 

A graph representing this year’s budget and the proposed budget for next year shows where SGA wants to reallocate funds.

Before Tuesday’s meeting, the other co-director, Ryan Thorpe, said he was “very surprised” and upset by the committee’s decision. 

Prior to the meeting, Gay said the committee made the cut after determining that Frog Aides no longer meets its original mission.

Over time, they have basically become a first-year leadership social organization that has little to do with SGA besides our sponsorship of them,” said Gay, a senior mathematics major.

Blakeley asked the House to table the bill for more discussion. A slim majority agreed. 

This year, SGA ran out of money to fund student organizations.

SGA representatives also lamented not having a larger budget to hire talent for the fall concert. 

They proposed doubling student fees which would have boosted SGA’s budget to $1.8 million for the academic year. Students rejected the measure in a referendum last month. About 2000 students voted in the SGA election; 55% were against the fee hike. 

Next year, SGA expects to have about $800,000 in funding.

SGA meetings are at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and are open to the public.