The Students’ Association Congress plans to change the SA constitution to allow a higher percentage of the overall budget to go to student organizations.
Changes to the constitution must be voted on by the entire student body. The change will bump the percentage of funding for student groups from 45 percent to 60 percent of the overall SA budget. Executive treasurer Ruhika Roy said the change fits better with the mission of SA and the increase in student groups each semester.
“Now our sole purpose is a little bit to help the campus as a whole, but mainly for student organizations,” Roy said. “Organizations have the potential, they have all these ideas, but we have all the money and almost 90 groups to split it amongst.”
In the past, SA funded on-campus activities like concerts through the Campus Activities Board, now called the Cabinet. This year the Cabinet has its own budget provided by the university which allows SA to give more money to student groups. About 90 groups now fall under SA funding, which is an increase from 79 groups last fall and just 59 groups last spring. Groups cannot get funding if the organization members do not meet with SA officers.
The change to the constitution, if passed by the student body, will go into affect in the fall.
“That would at least give organizations the ability to do all the things that they need to do and not have to decrease the amount of ideas that they have,” Roy said.
Roy created a computer system last semester that divided the funding based on each group’s needs and how much money groups used last semester.
Other changes to the funding process include increased penalties for improper use of SA purchasing cards, called P-cards. Last semester, some student groups did not properly return receipts of all purchases to the SA office. Other violations included not returning the P-cards within their allotted time and adding the P-cards to personal Amazon accounts when groups made purchases. Fines for violating these rules increased to $250 per student.
Congress passed a budget providing $40,855 to 64 student groups at a meeting on Wednesday. The top dollar amounts went to the Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization at $6,500, the International Students’ Association at $3,500 and Enactus at $2,335.
CEO president Meredith Orr said the spring funding will go to weekly CEO Chapels and events, alongside the second annual Startup Madness competition. Orr, a junior management major from North Richland Hills, said the event is a national virtual competition in which entrepreneurs compete against schools around the country.
As in previous semesters, SA did not fund T-shirts, travel fees or gift cards to any student group. The office will provide cutlery and paper plates to groups that make requests one week in advance.