The Student Assembly senate passed legislation Tuesday that aims to provide Homecoming funds to more organizations.
The Homecoming Grant II Act expands on last year’s act by opening applications for Homecoming event funds to both Greek and non-Greek organizations, as well as increasing the total finances allocated for the grant.
Because of this act, student organizations may apply for up to $1,000 to fund a public event during the week and weekend of Homecoming. These applications will be reviewed and either approved or rejected by the Finance Committee.
“There is still a lot of discretion that we [the senate] have,” bill sponsor and Senator Drew Wilke ’15 said. “If we don’t find [the applications] financially feasible, we can reject them. … This is just proposing that we can offer this money [to more organizations].”
The act allocates a total of $15,000, or 20.7 percent, of the SA reserve for the possible funding of public Homecoming events. This is a $5,000 increase from last session’s Homecoming Grant Act.
“I was concerned at first when I saw that it was $15,000 as opposed to the $10,000 we allocated last year,” Senate Chair Kendall Lorenzen ’15 said. “I’m a big supporter of expanding the bill to include all organizations on campus. … Just because we allocate $15,000 doesn’t necessarily mean that 20.7 percent of the budget will be used.”
The senate unanimously approved the act after debating who will make the final application decisions and how similar applications and possible bias will be handled.
“What are you going to do when Kappa Sig asks for $1,000 … for a cookout on the Sunken Garden, KA asks for a cookout on the Sunken Garden, and Beta asks for a cookout on the Sunken Garden?” Senator Ishan Bardhan ’14 asked. “How are you going to differentiate between [them]?”
Wilke suggested that the organization that puts forth the best application with the most detail and foresight will receive the grant. He also said that those on the Finance committee who have possible conflicts of interest are expected to abstain from voting on the application.
“Finance is used to meeting as one and getting things done. They have sort of a rhythm to it,” Senator Colin Danly ’15 said. “I think that’s kind of a good thing to have [when reviewing the applications].”
The senate also introduced a number of new bills, including the Steer Clear Support Act. The legislation will allocate $945 to Steer Clear to aid in the implementation and creation of a “Steer Clear App” that the organization hopes will increase efficiency.
“The algorithm sees where the vans are located on campus and determines how far you are from the vans,” Danly said. “It’s going to cut down the wait from an hour and a half to like fifteen minutes.”
Lorenzen sent the bill to the Finance, Outreach and Student Life committees for discussion. Lorenzen also announced that the Senate will be tabling during lunch hours to further its “What can the SA do for you?” campaign.
“[It] will give students an opportunity to make sure their voices are heard,” Lorenzen said. “I feel like that would be a good and different way to reach out to the student body.”