The Student Government Association may need to amend its constitution.
SGA’s budget must be proposed to Student Senate within the first two weeks of the semester, according to the constitution.
This didn’t happen this academic year because SGA members were waiting for the School of Law to finalize enrollment numbers.
The previous administration proposed the budget on time last academic year, but, due to incorrect enrollment numbers, gave too much money to the law school.
The Student Bar Association is the law school’s SGA equivalent. SGA provides the organization with a financial allocation based on a formula that requires the number of law student credit hours.
Schools are unable to give final numbers until after the date on which students can still add or drop classes, which is usually a few weeks into the semester.
For that reason, SGA President Randy Gipson-Black wanted to wait to get the most up-to-date numbers before proposing the budget, which makes sense. Members of SGA want to make sure money is going to the right places.
SGA members did the right thing by waiting for the most accurate enrollment numbers, but proposing the budget in the fourth week of classes still violates their constitution. It also gives the Student Activities Council less time to make the purchases they need for beginning of school events.
SAC hosts a variety of events on and off campus like Midnight Breakfast and Free Movie Nights that require their members to buy things in bulk ahead of time.
SGA members had to call an emergency meeting to pass this year’s budget just so SAC could buy movie tickets for the first Free Movie Night.
Officials should consider amending the constitution to allow the president more time to propose the budget to the Student Senate. Not only will this ensure that future administrations avoid misallocating funds, but it would also avoid any potential issues that could stem from not adhering to the constitution.
Because SAC purchases need to happen early in the semester, SGA officials could allocate a certain chunk of funds to their account. SAC events remain fairly consistent each year, and the prices for repeated events like Free Movie Nights shouldn’t change much. If the SAC commissioner is granted permission to spend before budget approval, as long as they stay within a designated amount, everyone should be satisfied.