Senate pay cuts and honorary alum nominations discussed at SGA meeting

By on September 14, 2011

By Johnathan Masters–

On Sept. 6, the University of Louisville Student Government Association met. Vice President Puja Sangoi reminded the SGA senate that a “business-casual” dress code was mandatory, with a threat of a pay cut if the code was not respected.

One student, Garrett Shields, was awarded the Student of the Month award. Another student, Brandon O’Brien, got unanimous approval from the student senate for $750 in travel funds to go the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. to represent U of L.

The Alumni Walkway Resolution, which sets the legal framework of how one individual will be chosen as an honorary alum of U of L, of was passed unanimously.

That individual will be honored with street signs along a walkway next to the Speed Art Museum.

The executive branch of the SGA will privately choose two applicants for honorary alum, and then the student senate will publicly vote between the two in March.  Applications will be available on the SGA website.

A resolution to establish an official U of L tax service, sponsored by Arts and Sciences Senator Carrie Mattingly, was
passed. The Boon Project and SGA will be partnering up in order to provide tax services to the international and domestic student body for free.

With the Building Our Nest resolution, sponsored by SGA Medical School Vice President Paul Mick, the senate would take a voluntary pay cut. Discussion of the resolution turned to debate.

“The bottom line is that everybody is getting a 50 percent pay cut,” President Kurtis Frizzell said.

Senator Travis Gault questioned why the executive branch was not included in the proposed pay cut.

Academic Vice President Jody Heil volunteered to give 10 percent of his pay back to the University.

Senator Skylar Graudick offered to give up 100 percent of his pay, because “nobody on Student Government should
be paid,” he said.
After many back-and-forth voting sessions, the senate voted to send the resolution to Appropriations, and revisit the matter in the next senate meeting based upon their recommendations.

The proposed revised constitution was tabled for the next meeting.

According to Mick, the revisions of articles two through four will make student government a “three branch system” and more democratic.  Mick worked at least 50 hours on the revisions, he said.

Graudick said he was disappointed in the outcome of the meeting because the processes were wrong.

“If nobody is participating, then ultimately the outcome will be unrepresentative,” said Graudick.

Graudick was concerned that this year’s SGA doesn’t equally represent all student demographics, such as commuters, single mothers, adult students, working students and underprivileged students.

He said that those who are in control understand the processes more, so they are better able to secure the available monies offered to the general public.

There’s a lot of money that only certain groups know about, like the Greek groups and other groups who are more
established,” Skylar said.  “It’s hard for you to break into the system, from the bottom.

Photo: Johnathan Masters/The Louisville Cardinal

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