SGA approves Skunks’ budget request, talks Voice Your Choice

SGA approves Skunks’ budget request, talks Voice Your Choice

By Andrew Brinker, Senior Investigative Reporter

The Student Government Association approved a late annual budget request and hosted representatives from the Department of Institutional Advancement, Emerson’s office for financial donations, during the group’s weekly joint session meeting Tuesday.

Towards the conclusion of the meeting, SGA went into closed executive session to discuss the late ABR from the college’s newly affiliated ultimate frisbee team, the Emerson Skunks.

Representatives told The Beacon that the request from the Skunks had been approved, but were not willing to disclose the nature of their discussion. 

Most ABRs must be approved by the Financial Advisory Board before being voted on by joint session. However, last Thursday’s FAB meeting did not end in a vote. Instead, the vote was delayed and to be conducted amongst voting members of the board via email. Executive Treasurer and chair of FAB Abigail Semple declined to comment on the delay.

Much of Tuesday’s meeting, which featured a discussion with Associate Director of Institutional Advancement Jillian Naimo, focused on the relationship between Emerson and its alumni. Naimo told representatives that the college’s Voice Your Choice initiative is beginning to play an essential role in connecting students with the college after graduation by making them more inclined to donate.

Voice Your Choice, which was started by the department of Institutional Engagement in 2018, allows students at the college to decide through a voting process how a certain amount of outside donations to the college should be allocated. In 2018, students voted to allocate $100,000 to student accessibility.

“If you vote your freshman year, you get to see and feel the impact of your vote,” Naimo said during the meeting. “That’s what really makes the difference.”

She told SGA that through initiatives like Voice Your Choice, the college aims to increase the number of alumni who associate with the college after graduation and increase the strength of Emerson’s alumni network.

Naimo, expanding on her statements, noted that she would prefer 1,000 $1 donations over one $1,000 donation, as that would mean more alumni are staying connected with Emerson.

“We want people to see the impact of philanthropy from the moment that they step on campus to when they graduate and beyond so that they then turn around and give back,” she said.