SA senate aims to put activity money in student control

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November 17, 2006

12:29 AM

p. The Student Assembly passed a provision of the Student Interest Return Act at its meeting Tuesday. The bill places an information request with the College’s Office of Finance regarding how interest earned on money from the student activity fee is spent.

p. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Will Coggin, a senior, is based on the concern that money designated for student activities is being spent on other projects. Every year, students pay an $84 student activity fee. Part of the SA’s budget process is to designate how the money will be dispensed among different student organizations. Any money the respective organizations do not spend is sent to the College’s general fund. Once in the general fund, the money is spent at the discretion of the finance office.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, a senior, said he was “appalled” that student money was not in the control of students.

p. Vice President for the Office of Financial Affairs Sam Jones said that he was satisfied with the way the process worked, relative to student affairs.

p. “Note that we play no role in how the revenue is allocated among the various student activities,” he said.
The bill, which passed 16-5, requests information about how the money is being spent. Sen. Victor Sulkowski, a senior, cautioned senators about the bill.

p. “It’s a little headstrong to go in, not even knowing if there is a problem,” he said.

p. The SA also sent several new bills to committee. Sen. Zach Pilchen, a sophomore, proposed a bill that would appropriate $550 from the Student Activities Consolidated Reserve Account in order to purchase a compost tumbler that would recycle food from the Commons. The compost would then be used as fertilizer in the garden outside the building. The bill was sent to be reviewed by finance and student life.

p. Sen. Andrew Blasi, a freshman, proposed the Laundry Services Room and Board Charge Combination Act that was sent to Campus Affairs. The bill proposes using the Student Information Network to find out whether students would be interested in a $40 increase in room and board if laundry was included.

p. Fitzgerald also sponsored a bill that he called the “most ambitious thing I’ve ever tried to do.” The R.A. Reform act, sent to Student Life committee, sends a petition to Residence Life to change the job description of RAs, asking that they no longer be required to “enforce campus policy.”

p. “Some RAs take their jobs completely too seriously,” he said. “We ought to have an environment where RAs are focused on student safety. RAs should be more supportive.”

p. The bill proposes that the RA staff work to help students with safety issues and not force them to write students up for violation of College rules.

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