SGA to Crack the Money Whip?

Ayanna Williams

With more than 100 clubs and organizations on campus relying on funding from the Budget Allocation Committee (BAC), the Senate has been looking for a better way to monitor the development and involvement of student organizations. At this week’s Senate meeting a constitutional amendment introduced by Senators Rodney Mason and Chris Nickels was discussed. The amendment would require all student organizations to adhere to more stringent obligations and fiscal responsibilities.Some of the requirements introduced by the amendment include submitting paperwork each semester, including Student Organization Recognition Information and a list of members in the organization. Monthly reports would also be required. These reports should state the events sponsored by the organization, the amount of BAC money used to put on the event and the number of people in attendance at the events. If organizations fail to turn in the necessary paperwork, they could be disciplined by the loss of the group funding, the denial of BAC funds for one semester or the withdrawal of SGA recognition.In addition to the required paper work, the president and/or treasurer of each SGA recognized group must attend monthly President meetings. If an organization is not properly represented at two or more president meetings, they it will lose access to the BAC funds for one semester.The goal of the amendment is to clearly state the requirements of student organizations at Colgate as well as maintain records for SGA and the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI). The new bylaws will also help to foster a stronger relationship between CLSI and student organizations.”There are some groups who follow the rules set by the current Student Bylaws and there are some groups who don’t, but they both receive the same privileges,” junior Senator Rodney Mason said. “This new legislation will enforce the rules and penalize groups who do not follow the rules. As Chair of the Legislative Committee I see new groups seeking recognition on a daily basis, and some of these groups become repetitive, however they become approved because the groups on campus similar to that group are either nonexistent or not doing anything on campus. Student leaders need to be in contact with their CLSI advisors at least once a month, not only when they are planning an event.”Many senators were concerned about the frequency with which forms must be submitted. There were also concerns that clubs which are not active on a monthly basis will be submitting forms simply because it is mandatory.”I’m not sure that a monthly report is entirely necessary,” sophomore Senator John Steigerwald explained. “Especially for smaller organizations that might not be meeting as often or putting on as many events as larger groups on campus. A bi-monthly report, or a quarterly report over the course of a year might be more efficient for both the groups writing the reports and the people reviewing them.”Another concern about the proposed amendment is that it will require student organizations to submit the same information twice. The bylaws for BAC are currently being reconstructed for next semester. Part of the revisions being made include student organizations filling out reports that clearly state how money allocated to them was used, how many people attended the event and how much money was used overall. These revisions are very similar to the requirements being proposed in this constitutional amendment.Despite the concerns shown toward the amendment, some senators are optimistic about the effects that the amendment could make.”I think that the amendment could be great for student groups on campus,” Steigerwald said. “If all of the groups on campus are required to be more involved with the CLSI, I think there’ll be a lot more collaboration between groups, and greater awareness of what’s going on around campus.”The Senate did not vote on this piece of legislation. Due to poor attendance, members of the Senate felt that this important issue should be voted on when a higher percentage of the governing body is present. A vote will be taken at a later date.