The Students’ Congress shuffled money after funds were left stagnant in the budget designated for conference requests.
Despite an extended application deadline for student groups to request money from SA to attend out-of-town conferences, $1,200 remained in the budget. The only group that took advantage of the extension was the ACU Locavore Club, which requested $450 from congress and was granted the full amount. Still, SA Executive Treasurer Carson Henley lead Congress along the steps to reallocating the money so that it would not go to waste by the end of the semester.
“You have the power to appropriate the money,” he said to Congress. “I want this for conferences, but since there’s so little demand, what are you going to do?”
Congress juggled options for how to spend the money. Propositions were made to split money and distribute it evenly to each class budget, adding $300 to each. Other suggestions were for Congress to adopt a non-profit organization or to fully grant the money to the appropriations committee. But the only idea that culminated into a full motion debated on the floor was made by Harding Administration Building Representative Dylan Benac.
Benac motioned that all of the money be granted to the general congressional budget fund. “It gives us the options to do what we want with that money,” he said.
If the money were allocated to the appropriations committee, only about one-third of Congress would have the power to decide how the money would be spent. Benac said other money distribution ideas limited accessibility and classes could still use money by making requests through a congressional bill Congress could vote on.
“It was something to be used for the whole Congress,” he said. “Now we have the opportunity to do things bigger and better.”
A resolution to support funding Christmas lights on campus was also passed during the meeting. Presented by COBA representatives J.P Ralston and Amy Morris, the resolution was a prequel to a formal bill that Congress will also vote on.
“We’re just trying to get Congress aware,” MorrisÂ said.
Executive vice president Julianne Hart explained resolutions generally come before bills that will likely make a large dent in the budget. She said resolutions help guarantee congressional support. “Otherwise it’s useless work,” she added.
Before the meeting’s adjournment, each committee gave an update to congress. The external committee met for the first time last week to discuss the mobile learning initiative, the possible addition of a bike kiosk on campus and suggestions for a graduation speaker. The internal committee met for the second time to address residential hall visitations, upcoming student body surveys and ordering t-shirts for Congress. The appropriations committee announced they met with six student groups and have granted a total of $2,200 with $2,800 remaining in their fund for the semester.