Student government branches respond to UA budget
February 21, 2011, 3:45 pm · Updated February 21, 2011, 12:00 am·
Sunday night, Penn Student Government branch leaders discussed the Undergraduate Assembly’s $1,923,377 proposed budget with UA members.
The budget is currently frozen and cannot be amended until next week’s final budget meeting where amendments proposed by UA members will have to receive two-thirds of the UA body’s votes.
The meeting Sunday was designed to allow PSG branch leaders to educate UA members about their branch and voice concerns about funding requests, College senior and UA treasurer Ali Huberlie said.
However, most PSG branch leaders were satisfied with their proposed grants. College and Wharton senior Adam Thompson, who is president of the Social Planning and Events Committee, noted that the SPEC executive board worked closely with the Budget Committee and 5B — the coalition of multicultural groups on campus — to ensure that “all our concerns were addressed.”
With the Budget Committee’s proposed $40,000 increase in SPEC’s budget for next year, SPEC will be able to “be further creative and innovative with our programming,” Thompson said.
Although this increase in funding, coupled with SPEC’s new restructuring of co-partnerships with student groups, will allow SPEC to develop as a PSG branch, Thompson said “we have to balance being able to grow while supporting what we are currently doing.”
Besides discussing the current budget, UA members passed a bylaws amendment on the UA Contingency Fund, or back-up reserve. College senior and UA member Grant Dubler said that the fund was previously not utilized to its full capacity.
The amendment — authored by the Budget Committee and Dubler — will allow the Budget Committee to determine the percentage of the total budget to be allocated to the contingency fund as long as it remains above 0.5 percent. “It gives the Budget Committee some autonomy,” Huberlie said. The bylaw previously mandated that 1.1 percent of the budget had to be allocated the contingency fund.
Huberlie added that the Budget Committee has announced its intention to make next year’s UA contingency 0.7 percent of the budget, which would allow the Budget Committee to allocate $7500 more to the Student Activities Council.
The budget will be finalized next Sunday.