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Student Government Association update Eagle’s Nest policies at last meeting of semester

Student Government Association update Eagle’s Nest policies at last meeting of semester

Student Government Association update Eagle’s Nest policies at last meeting of semester
November 18
20:49 2021

The Student Government Association held its last meeting of the semester on Wednesday, where it reviewed the senate’s fall budget and approved two pieces of legislation.

“I’m excited for the next session,” Vice President David Muñoz-Sarabia said. “I’m like a proud dad, to say the least.”

Chief of Staff Casey Jimenez started the meeting by going over the senate’s fall budget, which will be posted publicly online in the future on SGA’s website.

“We still have 82 percent of our budget left,” Jimenez said. “Which is why we’re huge into planning for next semester, so we can start throwing some more money into these events for the student body.”

Recent spending included buying food for campus events, a main attraction for students, and putting up holiday lights around campus, which cost $2,900. SGA originally set aside $3,000 for the lights, allowing the leftover money to be transferred elsewhere.

“We’ll probably end up doing a reallocation of some funds,” Jimenez said. “The extra $100 will probably be moved to another line item and probably sponsorships as well.”

From the remaining funds in the budget, $5,000 was planned to be set aside for the next administration to use in the upcoming summer and fall semester.

One of the bills that passed was F2021-B4, named “Guess What’s Back Back Back, Back Again Again Again.” In the legislation, Student Allocations Director Bella Armenta asked for $500 from the SGA budget to host resource meeting events in the spring. These meetings are held for student organizations interested in receiving money from the Eagle’s Nest Fund.

The legislation passed quickly under emergency status with all in favor except one abstained vote.

The second piece of legislation, F2021-B5 or “Transparency and Accountability for Eagle’s Nest II,” was also introduced by Armenta. The bill included plans to update the Eagle’s Nest Fund policy, such as raising the amount of money that university organizations could request in hopes to make things less restrictive.

“We could only fund up to $1,000,” Armenta said. “We’ve now changed that to $2,500, which is a big increase.”

The legislation for the Eagle’s Nest policy, which Armenta explained hadn’t been updated for five years until last summer, passed unanimously under emergency status.

“Organizations can get more money from us without having to go through the president,” Armenta said. “There was also a few things about code of conduct that were added to policy for the Eagle’s Nest committee members, just to hold them accountable throughout the year.”

A third piece of legislation was introduced but ultimately failed after a lengthy discussion between the senators.

“It was postponed indefinitely,” Muñoz-Sarabia said. “In procedure talk, the bill was killed.”

The legislation, F2021-B6 or “Order to Purchase Senate Materials,” was introduced to the senate by College of Engineering Senator Andy McDowall to request $60 to purchase five copies of the newest 2020 edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order” by Henry Martyn Robert.

“This guy wrote these rules so that homeowners’ associations, or civilian committees or things like that could meet and talk and not talk over each other,” McDowall said.

The book serves as SGA’s guidebook for its meetings, McDowall said. He believed having five copies readily available in meetings could be useful for any new or returning senators.

“It’s the rule book that a lot of organizations, a lot of governing-style organizations use,” McDowall said. “If you look in student organization constitutions, in the majority of them you’ll find ‘Robert’s Rules of Order.’”

SGA members like Muñoz-Sarabia were against the bill because of the readily available training and onboarding for senators, as well as his belief that the legislation was not something that needed immediate attention.

“The senate has shown no demand over it,” Muñoz-Sarabia said.

Another point Muñoz-Sarabia brought up in the discussions was that the university was planning a tuition increase and the senate should avoid causing any additional costs for students.

“We’re here for the student body,” Muñoz-Sarabia said. “We want to be intentional in our purchasing. That’s all I care about.”

Although the bill will not be considered for the rest of the session, it could be brought up again to the senate floor in the following session if SGA members change their minds.

“I don’t think there’s enough interest in it to continue pursuing it,” McDowall said. “I’m a big proponent of the principle in democracy where if people tell you no, you take that as an answer and you just let it be.”

Before the meeting ended, and after a surprise visit from Scrappy the Eagle wearing a Santa costume, the senate voted McDowall to be the “Senator of the Session” to celebrate his achievements in SGA during the semester.

Featured Image: College of Engineering senator Andy McDowall attends SGA meeting dressed as Fred from Scooby-Doo on Oct. 27, 2021. Photo by Lindy Jenkins

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Alex Reece

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