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SGA Wrap-Up: December 1, 2015

With a final push to ratify changes to the constitution before winter break, the SGA heard special funding requests and talked budgets, a major sticking point of this semester.

The Emmanuel chapter of Habitat For Humanity requested $750 towards a Boston-based home build in the spring, and an additional $838 for the purchase of promotional items like cell phone wallets and first aid kits.

The purchase cost of all the materials Habitat sought to buy and give away at club fairs was high because the manufacturer set a minimum number of items the group could order in bulk.

A motion was approved to purchase the cell phone wallets sans first aid kits to reflect savings. Senator Keith Becker ’16, acting Secretary of the organization, recommended that Financial Procedures as written in the SGA constitution should reflect circumstances like minimum order amounts. The cell phone wallets cost a total of $303.57.

EC Her Campus requested $210 to purchase a number of items for a toy drive benefiting Children’s Hospital Boston that took place last Thursday. The motion was approved.

The Black Student Union requested $146 for an exam de-stressor event – including yummy junk food, water and African bead crafts – scheduled for tonight in room 101 of the Wilkens Science Center from 6-8 PM.

“(Freshmen) just have no idea what’s going on,” said Gabby Taveras, the BSU Community Outreach Coordinator.

The annual Club Spotlight was honed in on EC Uke Club, whose band of tiny guitar musicians played songs at a battered women’s shelter last weekend. In the only video presentation of the semester to be featured in a club spotlight, EC Uke played clips from meetings and sponsored events.

The final Club Spotlight of the semester, as elected by EC Uke, was passed on to Emmanuel chapter of NAMI On-Campus, or the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The organization at Emmanuel and abroad works to combat stigma against pervasive mental illness.

The Constitution Committee presented recommendations for changes to its own powers and language within the document such as an updated procedure for the officer Appointment Committee, an updated Amendment process, and navigating officer vacancies. All changes were voted and approved in a unanimous decision.

Dr. Rissmeyer led a discussion with class officers about how the Special Funding budget for each academic year is decided. “Every year at this time the college makes decisions” about budget related to student activities fee, she said. The budget for special funding is derived from the Student Activities Fee.

The goal of the discussion was to find a number the SGA could submit to Emmanuel’s Board of Trustees for club special funding next semester. But officers also discussed recommending the Student Activities Fee be raised to meet organization needs in the coming year.

“We haven’t increased the student activities fee in a number of years,” said Executive Director of Finance Jeff Zakrzewski. Simmons College was suggested as a base model for any increase voted on. Other area colleges were also examined.

A $40 yearly increase to the Student Activities Fund – that’s $220 currently to $260 a year – could provide the SGA with $36,000 for the purpose of funding campus organizations.

But in light of conflict regarding the SGA’s payment of Corner Pocket student worker salaries using Student Activities Fees, Class of 2016 President Anastasia Yogas said she thought the prospect of raising the Student Activities Fund wasn’t as urgent. “I don’t support a student activities increase unless that is addressed first.”

Responding, Keith Becker said that eliminating salaries of the student workers who are employed in the Corner Pocket would negatively affect student activities there. “The Xbox games are student activities. The salaries are not,” said Anastasia.

Dr. Rissmeyer noted that a “broader philosophical discussion” about what Student Activities Fees should support would be beneficial in the coming months.

Officer Elijah Calvi made a motion to raise the Student Activities Fee by a $50 yearly increase (a $25 increase per semester) but a vote to recommend the earlier $40 yearly increase was made and passed.

The current special funding budget for fall semester is set – and concludes for the year – at $2052.84.

The deadline to submit SGA organization account forms expires tomorrow at 5 PM.

Posted by on December 7, 2015. Filed under Around Campus,SGA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.