SGA approves new appeal request procedures

The Student Government Association unanimously voted to grant the Financial Advisory Board the authority to exclusively review appeal requests under $5,000 from student organizations.

SGA Executive Treasurer Ian Mandt said allowing FAB to solely review and grant fundings under $5,000 is more efficient and frees up time in weekly Tuesday joint session meetings. In the past, appeal requests were passed at FAB meetings and reviewed by the joint session for final approval. Appeals over $5,000 will still come into joint session, he said.

“This change was proposed directly in response to the experiences of organizations that found the long approval process to be burdensome and challenging to complete,” Mandt wrote in a statement to the Beacon. “The goal is to make appeal request funding as accessible to student organizations as possible without sacrificing proper approval processes.”

FAB meetings are open to the public and held on Thursdays at 3 p.m. in the SGA office in room L152 of the Max Mutchnick Campus Center.

Mandt said the vice-treasurer or himself will write a report of all approved requests and present it at the joint session meeting for discussion to keep the process transparent for other SGA members. After FAB votes to grant funding under $5,000 to an organization, it cannot be repealed at joint session meetings, according to Mandt.

Joe Dirienzo, president of Class 2021, expressed concern over the fact that when FAB approves a request below $5,000, no one can overturn it—even if some sort of controversy occurs during the joint session.  

Mandt emphasized he would regularly report applications set for review in the following FAB meetings and at the weekly joint session meetings. Mandt encouraged other members of SGA to attend FAB meetings if they felt interested in a certain application after hearing about it in a joint session meeting.

FAB consists of the SGA executive treasurer and vice treasurer, a representative from each class, the SGA Chief Justice, a representative from the Organization Recognition and Review Board, and the SGA Advisor, according to last year’s treasury handbook. The Chief Justice does not vote and neither does the Executive Treasurer, except in the case of a tie.

Last year, 13 out of 37 appeal requests surpassed $5,000, according to Mandt.

Still, some members expressed concern that organizations may take advantage of the lack of transparency.

“I know that we could all show up [to the FAB meeting], but I think there is a safety net around joint session because all voting representatives are here witnessing that appeal being made,” Class of 2021 President Joe DiRienzo said.

SGA soon amended the motion to restrict the entire change only for this academic year. Next year, SGA has to revisit the issue and decided whether to keep it in place.

In order to eliminate students’ confusion while filling paperwork, Mandt said the treasury team will work with organizations this year to complete their package of appeal documents.

Mandt added the Treasury team updated the SGA website with a treasury page that provides students with resources and guidelines necessary for requesting appeals.

SGA also unanimously appointed an athletics commissioner, accessibility commissioner, transfer student commissioner, and a public relation chair.

News editor Riane Roldan did not edit this article due to a conflict of interest. Chris Van Buskirk contributed reporting.

Correction 9/20/18: A previous version of this article quoted 2019 Class Senator Joe Miranda when it was in fact Class of 2021 President Joe DiRienzo. The quote has been corrected to reflect the change.

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