Financial Equity Board in limbo after weeks of delay


Photo: Yongze Wang

Debrosse, pictured middle right, in a Spring Student Government Association meeting.

By Andrew Brinker, Senior Investigative Reporter

The future of Student Government Association Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple’s proposed Financial Equity Board appears uncertain after several votes on the proposal encountered roadblocks in past weeks.

Before last Wednesday, the proposal, which initially surfaced at the beginning of the semester and has been on Joint Session’s docket since their Jan. 28 meeting, appeared to be on track for approval and put into practice with relative ease. But an “auxiliary” late night meeting called on Feb. 5 saw the legislation’s momentum stop dead in its tracks as SGA members identified a series of issues.

Executive President Will Palauskas told The Beacon following the meeting that he was unsure of when a vote would occur, placing a tentative timeline at a few weeks to the end of the semester. With several scheduled votes come and gone, the proposal seems to face an uphill battle with SGA members continually postponing action.

Semple, however, insisted that a vote would happen in the coming weeks, doubling down after last Thursday’s FAB meeting, saying that she expected a vote on Tuesday, Feb. 11—an outcome The Beacon reported as unlikely.

“We’re voting on it this coming Tuesday,” she said after Thursday’s FAB meeting. “We made some adjustments based on a really productive conversation we had [Wednesday].”

Tuesday’s meeting rolled around without the proposal making the meeting agenda.

In contradiction with her statements from previous weeks, Semple dramatically shifted her tone on the progress of the proposal in an interview Wednesday night, saying that conversations surrounding financial equity should not be rushed.

“We want to make sure that we’re not rushing any conversations that could affect the financial situation and resources available for hours and college students,” Semple said in an interview with The Beacon on Wednesday. “We have a packed schedule as a student government. I don’t see the conversation as over, but we’re just doing some reworking.”

Semple could not provide a specific timeline for a vote on FEB, but repeated that she hoped to see the proposal pass in the coming weeks.

If passed by Joint Session, FEB will effectively serve as the second branch of SGA’s treasury wing alongside the Financial Advisory Board, addressing student concerns surrounding financial equity at the college.

In previous weeks, Palauskas—alongside SGA’s current and former advisors, Jason Meier and Sharon Duffy—have expressed support for the proposal, saying the new board will generate necessary discourse surrounding financial equity.

“I think it’s really important to lift up some students whose voices have not been heard and give them some sort of platform where they can be heard,” Meier said in an interview with The Beacon last week. “I think Abby [Semple]’s been very thoughtful in how she’s put this together and why she’s doing it. There’s tons of details to still work out on [FEB], but I think the mission and the vision of this as a board is really sound—just the general concept.”