By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
Sixteen members of Student Congress did not attend Wednesday’s SA meeting, and the result was a topsy-turvy session that saw Congress initially reject an Essence for Ebony request for funds.
Congress originally voted 24-8 with two abstentions to grant Essence $2,335 out of the Student Request Fund. However, 51 percent of all Congress must approve proposed grants. With 50 total seats, the magic number for approval is 26, even though only 34 members were present.
Essence officers and supporters appeared stunned, and several left the room to regain their composure after SA president Jeremy Smith told Congress the motion had passed, but not by enough.
After hearing a presentation from and granting $1,785 to Alpha Hockey Omega, ACU’s unofficial hockey team, confusion set in as several members began calling motions to reconsider the Essence vote before executive officers had finished counting Alpha Hockey votes.
The second vote on giving funds to Essence was even tighter: several members had left after the first vote, meaning Essence of Ebony needed to draw a whopping 84 percent of the 31 total votes just to draw a simple majority of seats. The motion to grant the group all of its $2,335 proposal passed 26-4 with one abstention after two attempts at amending the proposal down failed.
“We’ll look and see who was absent and what the reason was,” Smith said. “It makes it harder to get stuff passed” with so many Congress members absent.
Only two of the 15 absent members needed to vote yes to grant Essence of Ebony its proposed budget the first time through. Instead, Congress waded through about two hours of appropriations requests.
The Student Request Fund now stands at $13,395.77. Treasurer Jonathan Wilkerson said he is working with about seven groups who are asking for a total of $12,000 from the fund.
Congress members also were placed into Advocacy task forces Wednesday and set up meeting times to begin working on the lists of suggestions given them by the students last month.
The Students’ Association meets every Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Room 114 of the Biblical Studies Building.
All undergraduate students are invited to attend.