SGA And The Curse Of The 2017-2018 Internal Budget
Written by Vivian Klotz
This week’s SGA meeting was primarily dedicated to presenting, explaining, and attempting to pass the 2017-2018 Internal Budget. First, however, during the period in which students and campus organizations can voice concerns to SGA, a group of members of the class of 2017 brought forward apprehensions about the financial strain Senior Week causes on students from low-income backgrounds, and Divest Barnard gave a presentation seeking further support from Student Government.
The students concerned about the financial strain caused by Senior Week asserted that all Barnard students have worked hard over the previous four years and that all deserve to be able to participate in the festivities. However, tickets upwards of $100 cause a considerable financial strain on students, especially during the already expensive graduation season. The Senior Class President replied that they would send more information to the student body concerning finances this Wednesday and that they would attempt to organize another fundraiser. Further discussion will occur at the Senior Class Council Meeting, which is open to all Barnard seniors, and will take place today at 7 pm in Diana 304.
Divest Barnard previously approached SGA about having the school divest from climate change deniers. Today, they asked to have the board amplify their message and draw attention to their projects in order to garner campus-wide support. They have detailed goals and a multi-pronged action plan which will likely be at the center of more discussion in the coming months.
Most of the meeting, however, was dedicated to discussing budgetary concerns. The board briefly discussed the budget necessary to keep open the Diana Center roof in the spring and early fall, passing the measure. They also noted the importance of student input about which days are preferable, so will be sending out a survey or otherwise collecting data.
The Financial Review Committee presented its work on deciding how to allocate the $380,000 SGA receives. That money is divided between internal uses (the Representative Council, Skip Stop, Bulletin, and McAC) and external ones (Governing boards and Bacchanal). New groups being funded are the food bank, Barnard’s newly resurrected Greek Games, and new discretionary funds. Also noteworthy is the Morningside Fund, which is for Barnard students looking to do programming at Columbia’s campus, but who aren’t able to pay the fees for security and facilities, in addition to tech.
Conflict arose when discussing the senior class budget and the separate senior fund. Miscommunication and an increased awareness about the financial burden of Senior Week, due in part to the first presentation of the evening, created a stalemate, where eventually the attempt to pass the budget failed in an 8-8 vote. Procedurally unable to just change one part of the budget, the FRC was faced with a vote to open up discussion on all parts of the budget in their committee. This motion passed, and so the committee with meet soon to find a solution.
Image via Barnard College
Tags: all about the money money money, everything in the world of SGA revolves around money apparently, financial discussions are always bound to be confusing, on another topic, please decide whether you're using proper rules of order or not, primarily because I nearly had a heart attack when an original main motion was made while another was pending, rising votes are the way to go instead of raising hands, the motion to extend debate is your friend when you're going over time and panicking, to all who have read these tags: you're right in guessing I have no friends