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Student Council wraps up summer funding round, looks to fall semester

Members discussed new changes to funding reform and support and voted to table a bill amending the summer budget

<p>Student Council meetings are Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in Newcomb Hall.&nbsp;</p>

Student Council meetings are Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in Newcomb Hall. 

Student Council held its first meeting of the fall semester Tuesday. The group heard updates related to funding reform and support and voted to table an amendment to the 2022 summer budget.

The meeting began with updates from the Executive Board.

Riley Reynolds, vice president of organizations and fourth-year College student, expressed her satisfaction with the Student Activities Fair Monday.

According to Reynolds, over 500 organizations participated in the event, which was free to all organizations. Student Council also rented an additional tent this year, as the University removed the tent near Peabody Hall that had previously been used for the Activities Fair.

Ryan Cieslukowski, director of funding reform and support updates and fourth-year Batten student, shared several updates related to the Student Activities Fee funding process. The Student Activities Fee is the $50 fee all students are required to pay through tuition. 

Cieslukowski shared that his branch was able to successfully shorten the SAF funding process to two weeks instead of three, which will enable Student Council to hold more rounds of funding this semester. Cieslukowski tentatively expects six rounds of funding and an ongoing emergency funding process.

Cieslukowski also noted that his branch reworked the Board of Audit and Management to ensure that SAF funding is a fair process.

“They're going to now focus on internal audits and making sure that we're being consistent and fair in how we fund student organizations,” Cieslukowski said. “So more like quality control and accountability for ourselves, which is exciting.”

In addition, Student Council has centralized its funding streams so that CIOs only need to fill out a single form when requesting funding from Student Council.

Cieslukowski noted there were some setbacks in the process. The University recently overhauled its payment system, so groups who want to be reimbursed for expenses by Student Council must first register with the University’s new system.

Cieslukowski added that the summer funding round wraps up this week, and SAF funding applications will open Aug. 28.

Ceci Cain, president of Student Council and graduate student, gave a brief update regarding the Airbus service, which provides transportation to and from various airports, including Richmond, Dulles and recently-added Charlottesville. The service has been available for 10 years through the Support and Access Services branch.

Student Council then moved into legislative session. The representative body a bill amending the 2022 summer budget sponsored by Jaden Evans, vice president of administration and fourth-year College student. 

Evans explained the reason for the increase was the expense for the extra tent at the Activities Fair. According to Evans, the University paid for the tent on the Peabody Lawn last year, but after removing it, Student Council had to pay for a second tent on its own.

Evans hoped to use SAF funding to pay for the extra tent, which he explained was one of the primary uses for that type of funding.

In a unanimous vote, the bill was tabled with 14 votes in favor. 

Student Council will hold its next meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Newcomb South Meeting Hall.

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