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Student Senate amends student government constitution

Mel Flanagan | Thursday, March 24, 2011


Student Senate passed two amendments to the student government constitution at its meeting Wednesday. The first revised the method of fund allocation, and the second codified the First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) organization in the Constitution.
Student Union treasurer Eric Biro presented the fund allocation resolution to the senate and explained how it would affect the existing budgeting process.
Clubs and organizations receive a fixed 33 percent of total revenue given to the Club Coordination Council (CCC) from the Financial Management Board (FMB). Halfway through the year, the clubs have the opportunity to request more funds from the remainder of the CCC budget, Biro said. 
The amendment would increase this hard line percentage from 33 to 36 while eliminating a club’s ability to appeal for more funds later, he said.
Junior Paul Baranay, controller of the CCC, said the amendment is mostly aimed at simplifying the lengthy allocation process.
Currently, clubs submit their budget requests for the next year to the council. After making necessary cuts, the CCC decides on an overall request to the board, which then also makes its own cuts, requiring the council to once again decrease the amount of money allocated to each club, Baranay said.
“With this new amendment, instead of having uncertainties about exactly how much we’ll receive from FMB, we’ll know at the beginning of spring semester how much we’ll receive,” Baranay said.
Biro said because the CCC is requesting greater total funding from the board, the increase in the hard line for clubs and organizations will not detract from other groups’ shares of the budget.
Biro said due to the amount of money distributed in the additional allocation, the percentage change is essentially making official what has already been in practice.
“By going through with this change, we’re eliminating one cut from the CCC and they have the set number right away,” he said.
The second amendment approved by Senate officially adds FUEL, an organization for freshmen interested in policy-making in student government, to the constitution.
FUEL Director Ricky Bevington said the first half of the year focuses on educating the freshmen in how student government works. Some of the exercises include reviewing the constitution and learning what the various student leaders on campus are responsible for.
Following the training process, FUEL members can choose senate committees to begin working with.
“We’re trying to make this opportunity real,” Bevington said. “These FUEL-ers are a part of student government. They put a lot of time in it. They care about student government as much as most of you.”