News

GUSA may propose budget takeover

November 12, 2009


The Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriations Committee has drafted a bill to strip the Student Activities Commission and other funding boards of their votes at the annualspring Budget Summit.

The Budget Summit determines the allocations and control of the student activities fee and student activities endowment.

Currently, the annual Budget Summit is made up of the seven GUSA Senators in the Finance & Appropriations Committee and the head member from SAC, the Center for Social Justice Advisory Board for Student Organizations, Media Board, the Performing Arts Advisory Council, the Advisory Board for Club Sports, and the Georgetown Program Board.

The new by-law bill, which the Voice obtained from an e-mail meant for the Finance and Appropriations Committee and has yet to be officially considered by GUSA, would make the GUSA Senators the “sole voting members” and restricts the other funding board members to only an “advisory role.”

Last Sunday, GUSA passed a resolution introduced by Senator Colton Malkerson (COL ’13) reaffirming a referendum passed by the student body in 2006 called “The Student Association Accountability & Reform Amendment” which gave GUSA the power to pass the annual budget “following consultation by University administrators and any and all advisory boards and GPB as specified in the by-laws.”

GUSA Senator Nick Troiano (COL ‘11) said GUSA chose to grant votes to the funding boards, but according to the referendum, GUSA could choose to take the votes away, if it were to pass the drafted legislation.

“We have gone the diplomatic route before,” Troiano said. “We’re leaving ourselves options to do what is necessary once and for all.”

Last year, it looked as though GUSA might not approve the budget before the year ended because of disagreements with SAC about its large reserve funds. The budget was approved at the last GUSA meeting on a vote of 26 in favor, one opposed and two abstaining. The new by-law would give GUSA full control over budget summit decisions.

At the meeting on Tuesday, according to Malkerson, the Finance & Appropriations Committee met with the Constitutional Council to discuss the constitutionality of various by-law amendments. He said right now the Finance and Appropriations Committee’s focus is to set up the new GUSA Fund, and he does not expect the committee to consider the legislation for at least another two weeks or sometime after Thanksgiving break.

SAC Chair Aakib Khaled (SFS ‘10) and SAC Vice-Chair Juliana Pugliese (COL `10 could not be reached for comment.



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