Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

SGA unveils new committee for student organization spending

Kellyn Taylor

The Student Government Association voted unanimously to create a new committee to investigate irregularities in student organization spending during last Friday’s meeting.

The Committee to Handle Audits and Reform for Irregularities in Organizations and Treasuries (CHARIOT) was brought to the floor by sophomore Angus Abercrombie, the SGA Class of 2026 president. 

CHARIOT will examine irregularities in student organization budget spending and annual budget requests. According to the proposal, irregularities are defined as expenditures by student groups that differ from their initial budget request.

Abercrombie said CHARIOT is not meant to punish organizations for irregular spending. Rather, he hopes the committee will help address spending problems in a collaborative manner to avoid slashing budgets without warning.

“SGA is responsible for organization financial accountability,” Abercrombie said. “This is adding a new route for transparency.”

Nandan Nair, SGA executive treasurer, emphasized the importance of diligence in SGA budgeting.

“We manage a big budget and give out almost a million dollars across the orgs,” Nair said.

Full-time undergraduate students at Emerson College contribute $126.83 each to SGA funding for student organizations through an activities fee included in the tuition.

Charlize Silvestrino, SGA executive president, believes programs like CHARIOT will help to make sure this funding will go to the right places.

“We want to make sure everyone’s 126 bucks means something,” she said.

The rest of the meeting included unanimous votes to reinstate the bylaws for the SGA and the Treasury Handbook. 

The bylaws are a “fluid document that outlines how we function as a body,” but do not have the power of the SGA constitution, Abercrombie said. 

These laws must be reaffirmed each year. This year’s SGA bylaws designated general assembly members as “deputy senators” who can vote on issues before the assembly in the event of a vacancy vote by the Senator specific to that issue. 

Another change to the bylaws created an advisory board of SGA alumni that can be called upon to advise the current SGA and may address the assembly when recognized.

“One of the biggest problems of SGA is that we all graduate after four years,” Silvestrino said. “[The advisory board] gives us the opportunity to pull on their experience when necessary.”

SGA is taking other measures to allow for SGA involvement after graduation. 

Voted in through the bylaws was a provision that allowed Emerson faculty members and the non-student public to attend general assembly meetings if invited by the SGA president.

While not a direct result of this law change, Pranit Chand, former SGA executive president, and Emerson Vice President Jim Hoppe attended Friday’s meeting. 

Ava Selby was also introduced as the 2023 athletic senator. She held this position last year and will be appointed at next week’s meeting.

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About the Contributor
Bryan Hecht
Bryan Hecht, News Co-Editor
Bryan Hecht (he/him) is a freshman journalism major from Havertown, Pennsylvania. He currently serves as an assistant editor of The Berkeley Beacon News section. Bryan also contributes to WEBN Political Pulse and hopes one day to work in broadcast news media. As a member of the Emerson Cross Country team, Bryan can likely be found on a run around the Boston area when he's not writing for the Beacon.

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