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Student Council unanimously passes budget for 2019-2020 academic year

Transfer student resources and support for modernized College curriculum also discussed

A comparison of Student Council's 2018-19 budget with the finalized 2019-20 budget which shows an overall decrease of $2,678.34 in expenses.
A comparison of Student Council's 2018-19 budget with the finalized 2019-20 budget which shows an overall decrease of $2,678.34 in expenses.

Student Council approved a budget that would allocate $69,548.39 to its various committees for the 2019-20 school year. Student Council also passed emergency legislation voicing support for the modernization of the College curriculum.

FB19-13, a bill to approve the 2019-2020 Student Council operating budget as presented by the Director of Finance, passed unanimously with two abstentions. The 2019-2020 budget is $2,678.34 less than last year’s.

“We’ve cut our budget down across the board from last year,” said Ellie Brassachio, Student Council president and a fourth-year College student. “We’ve spent a lot less money on food, notably non-SAF money towards food. We’ve also spent less SAF money.”

The Student Council Budget consists of Student Activities Fees-related funding which comes from a $25 semester fee paid by students and non-SAF funds, which are raised by the Student Council through a variety of other sources such as different fundraisers, the Student Activities Fair and their endowment.

This year’s annual budget allocates $48,066.40 in SAF funds and $19,181.99 in Non-SAF funds. The majority of the funds, $38,320.99, go towards Presidential Cabinet Committee Expenses.

Overall, the Student Life committee was allocated the most money, coming to a total of $11,100. Most of these funds will go towards the AirBus initiative, free transportation to airports for students; meal kits, which address food insecurity over shorter breaks for students who can not go home; and FoodCam, an attempt to reduce food waste on Grounds.

The only amendment to the budget discussed during Tuesday’s meeting concerned allocating $1,800 to the Teacher’s Assistant salary as a part of the Cavalier Education program, which aims to provide funding for student made, student taught classes. 

“I think probably the biggest thing of note in the budget is that we allocated $7,500 for free student printing,” Brassachio said in an interview with The Cavalier Daily. “Before we allocated $15,000 a year for CIOs to print free. We've cut that in half and put the other $7,500 towards free printing for students.”

Additionally, Bill FB19-15 — a bill to create an ad-hoc committee to create an online handbook for transfer student resources — was also passed by a large majority. This handbook will parallel a handbook the Financial Accessibility committee is working on to aid low-income students at the University. 

Emergency legislation, FR19-16, was presented after FB19-13 and FB19-15 in response to an all-faculty vote scheduled for Friday regarding potential changes to the curriculum within the College. Faculty of the College will vote on whether to get rid of the New College Curriculum, adopt it as the only curriculum within the College or continue with the current system of students choosing between Traditional, Forums and New College Curriculum.

The New College Curriculum, which began in 2017, is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary general curriculum in which students take part in a set of first year courses called Engagements, as well as classes within the umbrella of the requirements titled Disciplines and Literacies.

The emergency legislation, FR19-16, does not specifically endorse adopting the New College Curriculum as the only curriculum — rather it encourages the College pursue modernization of a required curriculum that is appropriate to changing times.

“My problem with the legislation was that when I asked questions of the presenter of the legislation … it wasn't clear what this legislation was supporting,” said Cooper Scher, a first-year representative to the Student Council. “I know many friends who are in the new curriculum who don't like it, so I'd rather it be a choice.”