By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
The Students’ Association approved the vast majority of its record-breaking budget Wednesday, releasing thousands of dollars for student groups across campus and authorizing the creation of an Internet voting system.
All but $30,000 of the $111,500 proposal was approved; Student Congress postponed for one week debate on funds the executive officers had proposed for electronic scoring in the Campus Center bowling alley.
“I would encourage you to be here tonight for the students, for the student body,” executive president Jonathan Wilkerson said before opening the meeting, adding that Congress should ask, “What can we do for them as a whole?”
Before discussing the budget, Congress voted to refer the “Faith Plan” to a rewriting committee to be chosen by the bills’ authors, International Students Association liaison Susanne Drehsel and Rep. Erin Baldwin, Administration Building.
The approved budget underwent several revisions, including the removal of more than $4,000 scheduled to be granted to VoteNet, an online voting service.
Members of the Association for Computer Machinery raised several security concerns that prompted Congress to grant a portion of VoteNet’s allocation to ACM for the voting service while dumping the rest into the Student Request Fund.
Lauren Johnson, chair of the Wildcat Kids committee, requested more than the $2,260 proposed allocation, citing attendance concerns if student-partners were made to pay for their food at events without having agreed to it in advance.
Congress eventually added more than $1,000 to the group’s budget, bringing the total to more than $3,300.
“The Wildcat Kids committee made a contract with students involved in Wildcat Kids [to pay for their food at committee events],” said Sen. Jeff McCain, sophomore class. “We need to advocate; we need to uphold that contract.”
Congress never said where the extra funds should come from, but they probably will be drawn from the Student Request Fund. The net total for the fund, then, will be about $200 smaller than proposed.
The $30,000 for electronic bowling scoring met with mixed
opinions at best, as members debated whether to strike the funds
and move them into a Campus Improvements general fund for further
“Voting for this amendment doesn’t necessarily doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want to do bowling,” said Rep. Elizabeth Alvarez, Administration Building. “It could mean you don’t want to do it, or it could mean you want to wait.”
As the meeting approached the three-and-one-half-hour mark, Congress decided to pass the budget as revised and postpone until
the next meeting a decision on the bowling allocation on a series of 28-1 votes with no abstentions.
Congress opened the meeting with discussion on the Faith Plan, presented two weeks ago as a tool to show support for the university as it undergoes budget cuts. The plan, facing decisive rejection as presented, was referred to a rewriting committee.
The vote followed a series of executive committee reports urging the plan’s rejection for a variety of reasons. The plan had called for a fund-raiser, prayer and fasting.
“We shouldn’t have to pass a law to pray,” said Sen. Sarah Carlson, sophomore class, member of the Administrative Relations Committee. “We need to show we support the university and stand behind their decision. There are no statistics, no logistics, no actual plan. … Until the Faith Plan is rewritten, we will not support it.”
Drehsel criticized the detractors, conceding that if Congress did not unanimously support the plan, it should be rejected.
“I’m very disappointed as a member of the student body in the student leaders on this campus,” she said. We’re letting the students down, we’re letting ourselves down, and we’re letting the administration down.”
Congress approved the rewriting committee in a unanimous voice vote.
Congress also accepted the resignations of Reps. Kasidy Geistweidt, Don H. Morris Center, and Kyle Chenoweth, Mabee Hall. Geistweidt had resigned two weeks ago, Wilkerson said, but a lack of quorum last week prevented the discussion of new business. The resignations lower Congress’ roll to 44 members, with 22 needed for quorum.