Senate approved a new student organization and passed two pieces of legislation proposed by the student body treasurer at Thursday’s meeting.
The first funding legislation was a resolution stating that Student Senate will reevaluate the Student Activity Fee before the end of this year’s session of Senate. The change would not affect the budget for the 2011-2012 school year, but rather 2012-2013. Senators quickly amended the legislation to state that Senate recommends reevaluating the Student Activity Fee to raise it. The wording of the original resolution did not state whether Senate supported an increase.
“We’re in a position to reevaluate things and we will continue to do research to make the best decision and focus on sustainability for student organizations and programming budgets,” said Treasurer Nate Bleadorn.
The amendment and the final resolution passed unanimously. The Student Fee Allocation Committee will now look into the issue and make a final recommendation in the upcoming months.
The second funding legislation was a motion to earmark $16,500 from the Senate Reserve to offset the shortage in next year’s budget. This change will secure that annually funded organizations will receive the same amount of funding next year as they have in the past.
Student Body Auditor Brad Koenen explained reasons for the budget shortfall. Overages totaling $7,050 (funds that Senate exceeded in spending), a $10,000 increase for the Campus Readership Program and a $5,000 decrease in the budget baseline all contributed to the shortfall.
“If we do not do this, every organization will have to take a percentage cut from their budget this [2011-2012] year,” Koenen said.
Senate expects to have the same number of annually funded organizations next year. The motion passed unanimously.
To Write Love on Her Arms was unanimously approved as an official campus student organization. The organization, affiliated with a national organization, is a nonprofit group focused on offering help and support to those affected with depression.
Candidates for Senate Executive Officers spoke during the speakers’ section of the meeting. Elections for student body president, vice president of student life and vice president of student activities started at midnight today and last until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. The results will be announced on Pomerantz Stage shortly after midnight Wednesday. If candidates do not reach the 50 percent plus one requirement, a run-off election will take place next week.
Student Body President Samantha Haas also announced that Faculty Senate will meet on March 1 at 7 p.m. in Olmsted 312-313 to discuss the possibility of a J-term. She encouraged everyone who is interested to attend.