By Kyeland Jackson —
SGA resolved Nov. 15 to seat a student on the U of L Foundation board, inching students closer to representation in the university’s endowment manager.
The resolution requests a seat for the SGA president on the board. The motion passed, moving to executive committee for approval. Once it passes executive committee, it will be presented for final approval from SGA, readying its presentation to the foundation.
Regardless of approval, senators voiced concerns.
“Let’s say someone isn’t as transparent as Aaron (Vance) and the future generation decides that they don’t really want to let the student body know. Even though we’ll have a representative on the foundation, that doesn’t necessarily mean that transparency will be reflected to those student leadership positions,” one senator said.
Vance said the SGA President is obligated by their position to report to student councils.
Once approved by the executive board and SGA once again, ULF’s board would need to approve the resolution and revise its by-laws to create the position.
Vance first announced the plan in August, citing support from both the board of trustees and ULF board. Foundation Treasurer Junior Bridgeman said he was unaware if a student has ever been placed on the board.
Plagued by controversy, U of L’s foundation has been a sore topic for the university. Million dollar payouts to former president James Ramsey instigated an investigation by Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon. An unapproved $38 million loan from U of L to the foundation, a borrowed $20 million loan from the University Holdings Inc. and questionable deferred compensation packages to Ramsey and his chief of staff were also issues.
Major foundation donors threatened to pull funding months ago. The Board of Trustees threatened to sue. ULF has alleviated concerns since, restructuring its board of directors and following university demands.
Buzz program scrapped
SGA Services Vice President Lauren Greenwell said any endorsement of Buzz, a ride-share program, was scrapped. Senators applauded the decision.
The program aimed to bring unlimited rides to campus for a $40 fee per semester. At the last senate meeting, speakers for the program suggested the fee be mandatory, bundled with student tuition and fees, which caused some senators to be concerned.