The Students’ Association Congress passed bills at its weekly Wednesday meeting to fund a memorial and tithe 10 percent of the fall budget.
Rachel Jones, junior class president, wrote a bill to give $750 to help build a memorial for Celina Schuetz. Schuetz died in a car accident on the way to Abilene in August.
“I know that she holds a very near and dear place in many hearts at ACU,” said Jones, junior communication major from San Antonio. “I also think that it’s really important to recognize students who have passed away because ACU is such a family that there really is something missing.”
SA will choose the type of monument to build later, but Jones said it will probably be similar to the plaques made for Katie Kirby and Casey Ellis, two students who died last year.
Kevin Shurtz, College of Arts and Sciences representative, wrote the bill to tithe a percentage of the total budget with the support of executive president Danny Burke. Burke first presented the idea to Congress during the congressional retreat earlier in September.
“We’re a Christian body, and he wanted to do something in accordance with what he thought would be the best way to serve God and also serve the student body,” Shurtz said.
Congress voted to give the money to the International Rescue Mission during the first Congress meeting, but no bill was written or passed. Shurtz said he and some other representatives appreciated Burke’s idea but didn’t think it would serve the purpose of SA allocations.
“Some of us felt that taking up money and spending it off campus exceeded the scope of Student Congress,” Shurtz said.
Shurtz worked with Burke to write a new bill that will use the tithe “for the advancement of God’s kingdom throughout the world,” according to the bill. The new bill requires the funds to be given to organizations that further the Gospel and are affiliated with the university.
The bill also allows the executive cabinet to choose the organization based on the bill guidelines, within the next two weeks. Shurtz said he didn’t want to require Congress to choose because that would require another bill and could take even more time to make a decision. The tithe, which totals $8,382, will likely be given to World Wide Witness, Shurtz said.
The budget totaled $167,645 for both the fall and spring semesters. According to the SA bylaws, only 45 percent of the funds can be allocated to student groups, so SA distributed $37,720 to student groups for the fall semester. The rest of the money will go to tailgates, congressional projects and cabinet projects. Although 80 student groups fall under SA’s purview, only 64 groups will be funded because some groups failed to meet with the executive cabinet in time to get funding.