SGA passes bill that increases stipends for committee members

At the April 4 meeting, SGA passed a bill allocating $3,500 ($3,815 including GAR tax) to additional stipends for members of the Budget Advisory Committee.

BAC is comprised of eight members who meet every Tuesday to provide funding to clubs and organizations on campus. The committee has run into several obstacles this semester, as noted in the bill. The bill mentions BAC did not meet the required attendance needed to host a public meeting or encourage active participation at the meetings.

Director of Finance Amanda Ford brought up other difficulties that BAC faced at the SGA meeting.

“We ran out of funding really quickly. We had to approve all the Roar Days clubs in the middle of running out of funding, and we also had a lot of students who were angry with BAC,” she said.

Some of these students were frustrated club leaders who had funding proposals rejected because BAC ran out of money and did not give the club leaders enough notice beforehand.

The bill was authored by Ford and sponsored by other members on BAC. All members of BAC abstained from voting on passing the bill. The bill will add an extra $100 per meeting to each SGA member in attendance’s stipend, except Ford, who will not receive any money. Each eligible member can only receive up to $800. BAC members will receive this stipend in a separate check from their normal stipends.

According to a budget presentation last semester by Student Life’s Director of Student Engagement Stephen Cucchiara, SGA “recognition” — the money used to give SGA members a small stipend for their service — totaled up to $35,448 for all SGA members this academic year.

SGA recently reallocated $5,000 of unused money from those funds to help maintain their funding pool.

The budget recommendation for the next fiscal year will be finalized by BAC on April 9 and then voted on by the senate. Ford said one of the new budget lines for next year will continue this additional stipend for members of BAC as an incentive to join.

“We’re hoping that that will incentivize senators to be on BAC, so we don’t have issues funding clubs,” Ford said.

The bill was supported by all senators in attendance.

“I was on BAC last year, and we didn’t have quorum issues as much as I’ve seen this year, so it’s nice to see a reward for the people who actually did go to BAC and serve,” Speaker Pro Tempore Carson Hodges said.

Senator of Public Service and BAC member Greg Abukar-Duru also mentioned the recent difficulties with membership and making quorum at meetings. “This is probably the biggest, most important committee we have in SGA because clubs depend upon us to do things,” he said.

Senator-at-Large Hayley Crist, who has no affiliation with BAC, also spoke in favor of this bill. “I think you should be compensated for the work you’re doing, especially since this semester was really rough,” she said.

In other news:

  • SGA passed a bill that allocated $1,442.07 for catering at the Roar Awards on April 29.
  • SGA passed a bill that allocated $290.37 for raffle prizes to those who attended the Desire Embraced event on March 18.
  • This year, ClydeCon will take place on April 19 on the West Lawn. SGA passed a bill that allocated $4,361.09 to provide catering and 200 belt bags for the event.
  • An ad hoc concert committee was formed to plan for the concert in fall. The committee will likely include Student Body President Aidan Clark, two to three SGA members and representatives from UCCSRadio, MOSAIC and a club.

Photo via The Scribe archives.