On Wednesday, the Students’ Association passed the fall 2015 budget in record time with a $9,712.80 overall increase in incoming revenue.
In just over 45 minutes, Congress passed the $163,076 budget, with only one motion interrupting the flow of things.
The new student fee of $25, proposed and passed by SA last semester in an attempt to bring more entertainment to campus, is responsible for an increase in incoming revenue. Several new funds were set aside in the budget, too, including a marketing fund and athletics initiative totaling $13,000.
The meeting went similarly to last semester’s, since former SA President Rodney Johnson stated in the Constitution it excuses student organizations from taking the floor for debate. Instead, Congress members are responsible for reading up on the budget before hand and talking with any organizations they believe should have been given more money.
In the meeting, the budget was announced and allocations shared, and a 5-minute recess followed to give Congress members time to talk with student organization representatives in the room.
Several members could be seen talking with organization representatives about why their clubs needed money for certain things, and quite frankly, it was a relief to hear the conversations between Congress and students.
Then, when the meeting was reconvened and the budget came into question, Congress members sat quietly in their seats.
Eventually, one Congress member motioned to reallocate funds from several organizations to pay for an International Justice Mission Chapel forum.
After that passed, silence resumed, with the budget passing in the next 10 minutes.
In fact, Congress members took longer looking at the syntax and grammar corrections of the budget than they did discussing the allocations during the meeting.
Every undergraduate student is giving $25 to this budget, and yet the Congress members (those responsible for representing them in Students’ Association decisions) remained mostly quiet.
Whether it was from timidity or an unfamiliarity with the process, the lack of conversation was alarming, to say the least. Though on the surface the brief meeting was successful in approving the budget, we wonder how many thoughts were left unsaid.