Students’ Association is switching up its budget meeting this semester.
Instead of allowing student groups to speak up about the proposed budget, SA Congress members will argue on their behalf.
SA President Rodney Johnson, senior finance major from Odessa, said budget meetings in the past entailed hours of debate and banter between congress members and student groups, but SA will not facilitate that any longer.
“I’ve been in Congress ever since I got here, and up until this year we’ve allowed it to operate this way, but we’ve also not seen any healthy results from it,” he said.
He said this proposal is a part of SA’s Rules to Order, a document detailing the body of rules followed by an assembly, but has been disregarded for several years.
SA Treasurer Andrew Tate, senior biology major from Abilene, said about 45 groups are requesting money this semester and will be present at the meeting.
Some semesters, more student groups were on the budget, and Johnson said meetings would last several hours, some with arguments between student groups and Congress members.
“It’s not helpful to them, nor is it helpful to us,” Johnson said. “This is the best way to maintain fairness and keep groups respectful to one another, and to get out on time.”
Johnson is hoping to facilitate a more efficient process for the meeting, eliminating the banter between student groups and congress members.
“Congressmen will debate other congressmen on what they think an organization should sponsor,” Johnson said.
He said the student groups had time to defend themselves in an earlier meeting with Tate when they requested money from SA.
Congress members will receive the numerical data of the budget Tuesday night to review it and prepare questions for groups if they see a discrepancy or need more clarity on a group’s request.
At the meeting, Tate will present the budget and explain why each group was appointed the amount of money they received. Then, the Congress members will be open to ask questions and debate the budget amongst one another.
The budget meeting will be at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 4 in COBA Room 201.