SGA Executive Treasurer to introduce new financial advocacy board

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Photo: Chris Van Buskirk

SGA Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple.

By Tomas Gonzalez, Deputy News Enterprise Editor

Student Government Association Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple is poised to unveil the new Financial Equity Board at Tuesday’s joint session meeting on Jan. 21. 

Semple told The Beacon that the new board will act as an advocacy group, with 812 members who would hear students’ financial issues and pleas. The board will also serve as a way for Semple to delegate the powers of the executive treasurer and be able to provide more support for students, according to the senior Visual and Media Arts major.

“[The idea for the board] came from the issue of my job,” Semple said. “My job is both to create laws and to enforce laws, and that’s not necessarily how it should work. I think that this is a situation where more voices are more valuable and one person’s opinions are not necessarily everyone’s opinion.”

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Semple said she and Executive President Will Palauskas would co-chair the board and students outside of SGA are welcome to join. 

“Ideally, we’ll have commissioners who serve in SGA who would be heavily invited [to participate],” Semple said. “We are very open to having other student leaders on campus, student leaders from cultural organizations, student leaders from theatre and production. [We want to] create a space where students who feel as though their financial needs are not met can come and be heard.”

The board would also work as an educational platform where students can ask questions regarding any aspect of their financial issues, Semple said. 

“Where FAB allocates out funds, FEB will be suggesting policy toward administration,” Semple said.

Semple said she envisions that the board would invite speakers from inside and outside of Emerson who are well-versed in economics to talk to students about topics such as how inflation affects tuition. Semple also added that she hopes to receive textbooks and a recommended reading list from Emerson faculty so students can gain access to information regarding financial situations.

Semple said the meetings would be closed to the public, similar to SGA’s senate.

“Ideally, this meeting is going to be private the same way that Senate is so that students feel that what is said in the room can stay in the room,” Semple said.

Joint session is expected to vote on the approval of FEB next Tuesday, and FEB would also meet every Tuesday.