At Tuesday night’s SGA senate meeting, senators voted to approve the 2015 to 2016 budget and the SGA general election rules for the upcoming 2015 elections. The meeting, which took place at HSC campus, was the last gathering of the senate for the fall 2014 semester.
2015-2016 Operating Budget
The approved operating budget for SGA, ELSB and SAB totals $1,195,000 for the upcoming year. Senators voted to approve this plan, which was brought to the student senate upon the recommendation of the appropriations committee.
Although the entire budget was passed without any opposing votes, there were a few items that required discussion before a vote could take place.
One item was the Student Activities Board, SAB, which is slated to receive $455,000. Finance Director Tra Taylor spoke on behalf of SAB to the senate.
“The Student Activities Board’s mission is to serve the entire student body, and that is 22,000 students. Thus we are entrusted with a little more fiscal responsibility and funds to carry out programs,” said Taylor.
In addition, senators voiced concern about the changes in pay for council presidents and vice presidents. Under the recommendation of the appropriations committee, the 2015 to 2016 budget proposed to pay senators, vice presidents and presidents the same amount.
Benjamin Leamon, chair of the appropriations committee, explained, “If you look at all of your responsibilities from the senate, the senate does not ask any more of a president or of a vice president than anybody else.”
Leamon said that under this new budget, school councils had the flexibility to pay their presidents and vice presidents more at their own discretion.
Ruthie Wooten, school of nursing president, said, “If you do want to compensate your vice president or president with additional funds, there is a way to do that from your own council budget.”
A detailed report of the SGA budget will be published in the upcoming finance issue of The Cardinal.
SGA General Election Rules
Ben Shepard, chief justice of the SGA supreme court, distributed the 2015 SGA general election rule packet to the senate on Tuesday.
The packet was made available following Tuesday afternoon’s information session in the SAC Multipurpose Room. The lunch event informed students interested in joining SGA, ELSB or SAB of the responsibilities of each office.
Last year’s unusual election cycle raised a few concerns about how elections would take place in 2015. One slate of candidates ran unopposed for election.
SGA Historian Landon Lauder asked if there were any adjustments made to the election rules in the event that only one slate should run again.
“There is nothing in (the general election rules) that somehow alters the election process if only one slate of candidates chooses to run,” said Shepard. He noted that a public debate will take place, as mandated by the SGA constitution, even if one slate runs unopposed.
According to the general election rules, the interest meetings for potential candidates will begin on January 19, with all candidates confirmed by the Dean of Students Office and Chief Justice by February 2.
Students should expect to see campaigning officially begin on campus on Wed., Feb. 4. A debate will be held on Feb. 12, and elections will take place the following week from Feb. 16 to 19.