November 29, 2007

Student Assembly Holds Final Vote on Student Activity Fee

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The Student Assembly will discuss and vote on the aggregate Student Activity Fee for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years today. The SAF funds 26 groups, including the Slope Day Programming Board and Cornell Emergency Medical Services, according to the S.A. website.
Each undergraduate is charged the SAF every year, and the money collected from the SAF is allocated to groups ever year; the decision about the quantity of the SAF and the amount of allocation to each group is decided upon in two-year cycles, however.
The Appropriations Committee will present their recommendation for the SAF — $204 per undergraduate student — and its allocation to the whole S.A. at the meeting today, according to Vice President of Finance Adam Gay ’08.
On Nov. 15, The Sun reported on recent policy “clarifications” made by the executive committee of the S.A., which some people felt violated the exact terms of the S.A. charter. The article stated that when the Appropriations Committee presented their suggestions for allocations weekly at S.A. meetings, the general assembly would need a two-thirds supermajority vote to disapprove. The final S.A. vote on the SAF today, however, requires only a simple majority of S.A. members to amend the budget.
The meeting will include an open session period during which any member of the community can speak about the funding of a specific group or about the SAF in general.
After the S.A. agrees upon a new SAF, the plan will be sent to President David Skorton. Following Skorton’s approval, the suggested SAF is presented to the Board of Trustees.