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SGA meets to review budget, allocate organizations, announce "conversation with provost"
Southeast’s Student Government Association Senate met Monday night to review the SGA budget and allocate organizations.
The meeting also announced a “common hour conversation with the provost,” Wednesday, Sept. 20 to give students an opportunity to learn about and discuss the recent university department mergers, which affect students in eight departments.
SGA president Peyton Mogley started the meeting by announcing that the hammocks have returned to the terraces on campus.
Vice president Dylan Kennedy followed with announcements concerning the new campuswide tobacco-free policy. Kennedy said chewing tobacco, smoking and vaporizing are all prohibited, and students can file “incident reports” at the Department of Public Safety to report violations.
Mogley said nearly 700 people responded to the survey SGA put forth to the student body of more than 11,000 in September 2016. The survey was open for two days to the entire campus community, and the policy changes came as a result of 63 percent of respondents who indicated favor for a tobacco-free policy.
Newly elected treasurer Luke LeGrand presented SGA’s budget for review. LeGrand is fit for his new position with experience as a Presidential Ambassador and treasurer of Lambda Chi Alpha.
LeGrand’s presentation made reference to Southeast’s Budget Review Committee, which determines the university's allotments for each fiscal year. LeGrand said he, along with Kennedy and Mogley, are the only students on the committee, and intend to be a unified voice for student interests in the meetings.
LeGrand presented SGA’s FY18 budget and the expenditures of its two primary accounts. The Student Organizations Account, which funds existing organizations, and the Discretionary Account, which LeGrand said is more heavily used. The separate accounts allow flexibility in using SGA money that helps to fund student organized events and activities.
LeGrand noted that student organizations applying for SGA funds must be on campus or show due diligence to have had it on campus. He said SGA would not be responsible for funding any event in its entirety, instead assisting with supplemental costs and continuing to allocate for a greater number of organizations.
With heavy budget cuts across the state in 2016, Southeast is dealing with a 9 percent cut in funding.
“There is simply not enough money in the budget to allow for financial irresponsibility,” LeGrand said. “It’s gonna take a lot of work but our primary goal is staying under budget.”
LeGrand said they tightened the SGA budget this year and gave excess funds back to the university. He said budget committees are trying to find sustainable solutions, with both student opinion and the university’s goals in mind.
The FY18 budget was tabled this week to be voted on in next week’s meeting. LeGrand said the SGA finance committee will meet in the spring semester to again reassess the entire $32,000 SGA budget allotted by the university.
New student organizations approved for funding in Monday’s meeting include the faith-based Remix and the conservative partisan group Turning Point USA.
SGA encouraged its senators to attend and spread the word about the conversation with the provost on Wednesday, Sept. 20, to represent and be voice for those affected by the university's department mergers.
LeGrand said request forms for SGA funding are available for prospective student organizations and must be submitted by 5 p.m. on fridays at the University Center. Propositions must follow SGA bylaws and include a line-itemed budget to be considered for funding. Additionally, the students must attend one of five remaining informational meetings this semester.
“The staff, faculty and administration are doing all they can to include students in decisions and to make sure our voice is heard, that's what I've learned from being in this position,” LeGrand said. “So many times faculty has come to say, ‘Please voice your opinion.’ They appreciate it because they know the type of reactions that are possible.”
Final announcements included a reminder of the deadline to apply for Student Representative. Submissions must be in by 5 p.m. on Sept. 22 to the Board of Regents.