At the last meeting of the current Student Congress’ finance committee, Dakota Williams took his last chance as student body treasurer to make a portion of the Student Code easier to read.
Williams presented the committee a bill to revise Title V of the Student Code on Tuesday. The committee voted to pass the bill to the rules and judiciary committee, which will meet later this week.
Williams said the title is difficult for many student organizations to understand because of its length and lack of transparency.
Title V establishes how student organizations apply for funding from Student Congress as well as the stipends given to student government officers. At 25 pages, it makes up almost a sixth of the length of the Student Code.
“I hate how many groups I’ve seen fail to get funding because they missed an important detail or deadline,” he said.
Williams’ revision seeks to clean up and reorganize the information, making the rules easier to read, he said. The bill will also cut the length of Title V roughly in half, resulting in a 10-page document.
Williams said he hopes a cleaner section will lead to more applications for funds.
“Really anyone can pick it up, understand it and read it,” he said.
One of the biggest revisions made by Williams involves a change to the annual budget. Instead of having a single appropriation distribution period for student organizations, the bill calls for separate periods for the fall and spring semesters.
Having separate appropriation periods per semester will make it easier for groups to schedule events early in the school year, he said.
“It saves a lot of time and energy,” Williams said. “I think this is really for the better.”
Some committee members objected to the change, worrying that it was too sharp a departure from the current document. But after Williams further explained the benefits of having two appropriation periods each year, the committee voted to accept the change.
“It makes it easier. It’s more concise. It makes it easier to inventory,” said Chelsea Miller, chairwoman of the finance committee.
“Dakota is on to something,” committee member Stephen David Brown added. “In theory, it will help groups plan their events better.”
Another change in the bill was the addition of an unpaid deputy student body treasurer, a position Williams said was necessary to help take on some of the treasurer’s workload.
“It’s really just an accountant,” he said. “It still should be a job even if it’s not paid.”
Though committee members argued over a few of the details of the bill, they agreed the revisions to the title were necessary.
“The idea here is to make the code more clear and rewrite Title V,” said Alex Mills, speaker of Student Congress. “If we don’t pass this, the next Student Congress will have to deal with the word vomit of the current Title V.”
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