February 20, 2009

Student Assembly Meeting

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At yesterday’s Student Assembly meeting, a major objective was to discuss a potential timeline of fiscal planning for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 byline funding. The S.A. discussed their expectations for each byline-funded group to submit a “preliminary application” due late April, specifying the amount they will be asking for. However, the S.A. stressed that the amount each organization requests in their preliminary application will not be final, and the S.A. will request an official application due early next fall.
Ryan Lavin ’09, president of the S.A., articulated that the purpose of the preliminary application is “to be as fiscally responsible as we can be … while maintaining the quality of student activities for undergraduates.”
Although the plan has not yet been finalized, the S.A. believes that the preliminary applications will allow them to plan the Student Activity Fee, the amount of money the S.A. has for student groups. It will also allow byline-funded groups to organize their budgets in anticipation of the fall semester.
Additionally, the S.A. acknowledged that many byline funded organizations have taken a financial hit as a result of the University’s decrease in funding this year. For this reason, the S.A. planned to ask groups to alert them if they are going to seek a reimbursement in byline funding. Reimbursements will be given strictly to help recoup funding lost as a result of this year’s decrease in University financial support. With this increase in byline funding, the S.A. is hopeful that the quality of byline-funded groups will not be jeopardized.
The S.A. also discussed a potential addition to byline funding applications — two or three instances in which the organization has been environmentally friendly with their events. The S.A. hopes this addition will persuade the organizations to be more conscious of the environment when planning their events. Emlyn Diakow ’11, Human Ecology Representative and chair of the Environmental Committee, is hopeful that this will not only encourage students to be more environmentally conscious while they are on campus, but encourage them to continue helping the environment after they graduate. This increase, however, along with the plan to alter the byline funding process, has not been confirmed and will be discussed in more depth at the next S.A. meeting next week.
In addition to the plan for byline funding, the S.A. discussed the record number of at-large candidates, candidates that would not represent a specific college, for the upcoming election. Mike McDermott ’09, director of elections, announced that there are 45candidates for the S.A. and U.A., compared to 28 candidates in Spring 2008 and 24 candidates in Spring 2007.
Furthermore, the ResLife Committee, which focuses on residential life issues, went on to discuss the current lack of interest in program housing. The committee stated that not only was it important to try to convince freshmen to look into program housing, but that it is also important to follow up on the housing lottery after it is open