Last week, Student Assembly Advisor Trici Fredrick M.Ed. ’05 and Chairman William McConnell ’14 raised multiple legal concerns when they discovered that last year’s SA president Curt Mills ’13 and Chair of the Publication Council Justin Miller ’13 signed the wrong contract.
Last spring, the senate and publication council approved a three-year contract that included additional text from the SA code and a clause that gives the SA the power to freeze the council’s Student Publications Reserve account if the council chair or a voting member does not update the senate on the state of the reserve each month.
“When an organization or a council of this nature gets a large sum of money from student activities fees, we think it’s important that they come and demonstrate to us how they’re using the money,” SA President Chase Koontz ’14 said. “At the same time, it’s not just to have oversight. It really allows us … to allocate the best money to them.”
Contract funding was approved prior to budgeting allocations in January. In March, the senate and council approved the contract’s wording and Mills and Miller signed the contract.
“Everyone was transitioning — that was part of the challenge,” Fredrick said. “It was just rushed, so it wasn’t perhaps as thorough as it should have been.”
Even though the clause was not in the signed contract, council Chair Jackie Vasquez ’14 came to the senate meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22 and updated the senate that the council has $82,210.87 in the SPR.
“I don’t mind coming [to the senate meetings],” Vasquez said.
McConnell, Koontz and Vasquez agreed to renegotiate the contract to reflect the one approved by the senate and council last March.
In their negotiations, the trio discussed clarifying the language that caps the SPR at $75,000 and moves any money over this cap to the SA reserve. In practice, Student Activities Accountant Anita Forrest moves additional money at the end of the year. Renegotiations would have Forrest move the money over immediately.
“[The SPR] is not something we always pull from,” Vasquez said.
The contract, complete with the account freezing clause, additional text from the SA code and clearer language regarding the SPR cap, will become law once it is approved by the senate and the publication council and signed by Vasquez and Koontz.