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The Daily Tar Heel

Final finance committee reviews fall semester

In its last meeting of the semester Tuesday, Student Congress's Finance Committee looked back on its fall legislative cycle.

This semester, the committee received requests asking for a total of $416,284.57. They gave $176,433.59 to about 60 organizations.

Priyesh Krishnan, the chairperson of the committee, discussed past years' fall cycles and showed that in the last five years, Student Congress has seen increases in both the number of organizations asking for money and the amount they are asking for.

In fall 2010, only about 40 organizations asked for money, compared to the 96 organizations that requested money this fall.

Student Congress representative Aidan Hennessy asked questions about the difference Congress made by allocating the funds to the organizations they chose.

Krishnan answered that he plans to follow up more with the student organizations, but many of them have already reached out to give feedback.

The finance committee also passed two bills to full Student Congress.

The first was a bill to clarify the prohibition on international flights for students that Cole Simons, chairperson of the Oversight and Advocacy Committee, introduced earlier this semester.

The committee changed the wording to clarify that Student Congress will not pay for outgoing international flights for students but will fund flights and lodging for speakers.

But David Joyner, speaker of Student Congress, expressed concerns that the wording will prohibit Student Congress from paying for international travel if it ever changes its mind about the policy in the future. To resolve this issue, Krishnan added a two-thirds vote, so that two-thirds of Student Congress must approve paying for international travel.

After a discussion, the committee agreed and passed the bill.

The other bill was creating a Student Activities Fund Office reserve, which the committee set at $140,000. The money is set aside by Student Congress to be available to give to SAFO in order to subsidize student fees.

Krishnan said that number can be changed, but he did not want a floating number because they factor this in when looking at the amount of money able to give to organizations.

The spring cycle for the Finance Committee will start in January.

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