Planning for the future at an allocation-free finance committee meeting

With no more money to allocate and no groups to hear, finance committee discussed the future in a meeting Tuesday.

The committee passed two bills making changes to the student code. The first clarified how Student Congress calculates the mileage for student groups requesting money for travel.

The second bill — renamed the Budget Planning Bill, formerly the SAFO Bill — was passed without prejudice to full Student Congress. The bill sets an amount of money to give to the Student Activities Fund Office so that budgeting is more accurate.

Priyesh Krishnan, chairperson of finance committee, said that to his knowledge, student government had never been in debt before.

He said he did research to find out why and learned that the student code used to set a number for SAFO.

“It’s very important because it’s student fee money,” he said. “It’s important for students to know where their money is going.”

Krishnan also said they technically might not be in debt because they had money saved up — but he won’t know until April.

Before the budget bill passed, Krishnan proposed another change that would let Student Congress allocate 50 percent of its money in annual budget instead of 35 percent. 

He said this would allow for a fairer process since all the groups that apply for funding in annual budget get heard, but during the semesters they don't have that guarantee.

Benjamin Albert, a member of the committee, expressed concerns about the groups who would not go to annual budget. Essentially, he said they would be hurt because there would be less money during the semester.

Krishnan wanted to add the change to the bill next Tuesday for full congress, but Ben Labe, a member of the committee, said he would want it as a separate bill.

After the bills, the committee entered a more casual conversation about future changes which would allow all student groups to be heard during the semester and whether anyone would like to write a bill for such changes.

There was also talk of a Title V for Dummies document for students as a shorthand guide to the student code.

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