Student Council approves $72,000 budget for 2018-19

The final version of the Student Council budget allocates a total of $72,039

initialstudcobudget

A comparison of Student Council's 2017-18 budget with the finalized 2018-19 budget which shows an overall decrease of about $6,000 in expenses.  

Courtesy Student Council | Cavalier Daily

Student Council approved its annual 2018-19 budget of $72,000 as well as a new Contracted Independent Organization during its legislative session Tuesday evening. The budget passed with a vote of 25 in favor, one against and two abstentions.

During Student Council’s Oct. 2 General Body meeting, representatives voted to table the budget until the Oct. 16 meeting after approximately 20 minutes of debate. 

Michael Horth, a fourth-year Commerce student and the chief financial officer for Student Council, introduced the budget. 

“There have been no changes to the budget since last time,” Horth said. Horth later said in an email to The Cavalier Daily that the budget still has to be passed by the Student Activities Committee, which is comprised of administrators across the University. 

Ellie Brasacchio, a third-year College student and the chair of the Representative Body, opened the floor to comments, questions and concerns from representatives.  

Billy Hicks, a fourth year McIntire student and Representative for the McIntire School, was the only representative to vote against the budget. 

“[Student Activity Fee] funds, in my view, should not be used for discretionary purposes,” Hicks said. 

SAF funds are drawn from the Student Activities Fee, a semesterly fee that students to support Student Council’s funding of CIOs. The budget allocates $3,000 of SAF funds and $3,000 of non-SAF funds to Executive and Administrative Operations for discretionary purposes. About $52,000 of the total budget consists of SAF funding — almost $19,000 of which funds student organizational support, including the Student Activities Center. 

The budget allocates $72,039 in total to expenses for the Presidential Cabinet Committee, the Administrative Committee, the Operations Committee, Executive and Administrative Operations and Student Organizations and Support. 

The budget also includes an allocation of $1,500 to the Safety and Wellness Committee for the purchase of menstrual hygiene products, which will be available in University library bathrooms from Oct. 22 through Nov. 4 and in Newcomb bathrooms later in November. 

The Council also approved the creation of the Political Philosophy Society as a new CIO. The Political Philosophy Society is a non-partisan philosophical society that aims to foster the discussion of modern political structures. 

Student Council previously debated approving the Political Philosophy Society during a meeting on Sept. 24. The bill was tabled after representatives expressed concern that a similar organization, specifically the Roosevelt Society, already existed. 

According to their Facebook page, “The Roosevelt Society is an all-inclusive, casual forum for discussion dedicated to fostering discourse on the political and social issues facing the United States and the world.” 

No representatives from the Political Philosophy Society were in attendance at either the Sept. 24 meeting or Tuesday’s meeting. 

Ty Zirkle, a fourth-year College student and the vice president of organizations for Student Council, sponsored the bill. He recommended that Student Council representatives vote to approve the new CIO. 

To be approved for CIO status, the organization must meet certain specific criteria outlined on Student Council’s website. The criteria include requirements for student membership, leadership, sustainability, and non-duplication, an up-to-date constitution and agreement to a policy of nondiscrimination. 

Avery Gagne, a second-year College student and Representative for the College of Arts and Sciences, raised concerns about whether the prospective new CIO met the criteria that prohibits duplication of CIOs. Proposed organizations must not duplicate the mission statements of existing organizations at the University. 

“I really do not believe that the concerns over duplication with the Roosevelt Society have been properly addressed,” Gagne said. “I personally think that without someone present for public comment that legitimately the thing to do is to not vote in favor of the organization.”

Following this debate, the bill passed with a vote of 19 in favor, six against and three abstaining. Gagne was one of the representatives to vote against the bill. 

Representatives also voted 26 in favor with two abstentions to approve a bill confirming six appointments to the Rules and Ethics Committee made by Alex Cintron, a fourth-year College student and Student Council President.

Cintron’s appointees were fifth-year education student Phoebe Riegle, fourth-year Commerce student Kate McGinn, second-year College student Amanda Bisnath, first-year Engineering student Sarah Abourakty, second-year College student Wyatt Gormsen and second-year College student Nik Popli. 

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