USG gains control of excess revenue
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 00:11
The Undergraduate Student Senate will have more oversight and flexibility in the use of excess revenue in the coming semesters due to the passage of a revised Financial Operating Policies and Procedures at Wednesday’s senate meeting.
Under the new policies, the Executive Committee will allocate excess revenue from student fees. The student Senate will have the ability to appeal these allocations. Until now, all excess revenue was placed directly into the executive branch’s budget. Since USG by-laws allow only the Senate to approve the movement of money, once the revenue was placed in the executive’s budget it was impossible for it to be allocated elsewhere even if needed.
Despite a need for changes expressed by Comptroller Edward Courchaine and USG President Stephen Petkis, the resolution was not easily passed. The original change to the legislation gave the comptroller the responsibility of distributing excess revenue. Some members of the senate and Vice President Jigish Patel worried about placing such great a responsibility in the hands of one person.
“There needs to be oversight,” said Patel, a 7th semester history, political science and chemistry major.
Northwest Senator Kevin Alvarez, a 1st-semester political science major, pointed to a theme of increased senate responsibility running through this semester senate. He said, “We [senate] should not be appealing the decision. We should be making the decision.”
Petkis, a 7th-semester political science and human rights major, protested giving Senate the complete responsibility of allocating funds, saying it would take away from senates primary tasks of legislation, advocacy and policy creation.
“These decisions can be made by people who were elected to do it,” he said, echoing an early statement in which he reminded senators that the comptroller is elected by the student body to manage USG finances.
“I’m totally fine with there being more oversight,” said Courchaine, a 5th-semester structural biology and biophysics major. He continued to stress, however, the need for some change in order for USG to use its money most effectively.
Ultimately the legislation passed after amended to give the executive committee the responsibility of allocating excess funds, rather than just the comptroller.
USG funding board will being reviewing funding applications for spring semester after the Thanksgiving break.