‘Students funding students’

Every spring semester, a handful of campus groups and organizations make their annual proposals of allocations from student fees for the next fiscal year.

During tonight’s Student Government Association meeting, the final step in the process, the Senate will do a final read of the requests and ruling on them, takes place.

The student fees request process has several steps. First, the requests go to Paul Werner, the university’s budget officer. The student fees committee, chaired by Wade Robinson, vice president for academic affairs, then receives the request.

Over a two-day period, each organization requesting allocations from student fees presents to the student fees committee, where the committee is able to ask questions. Following the presentations, the student fees committee makes recommendations for funding, which is then passed onto the SGA student Senate.

The Senate reads each request twice. During the first read, which took place at last week’s meeting, representatives from each organization are invited to answer questions for Senate.

The final step in the process, taking place tonight during the SGA meeting, is a second read which the Senate will then debate and vote on each fees request.

Some organizations that receive funding from student fees include the Rhatigan Student Center, Campus Recreation, Student Health, Student Involvement and the Sunflower.

One of the most important aspects of the student fees hearings each spring is that students are the ones approving the allocations. For Student Body President Matthew Conklin, that’s what makes the process so important.

“I think it’s great that students are the driving force behind the hearing of presentations and debating whether or not an organization should receive the funds that they requested,” Conklin said. “I think it’s great how transparent the whole process is. (It’s) very democratic.”

Conklin said he has been impressed with how Senate has handled the student fees process this year.

“They came to the Senate meeting very prepared and they’ve all done research and came and asked questions in the week leading up to the read, so I think that’s good,” he said.

SGA will make the final decisions on the allocation requests during its meeting tonight. The meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. in RSC 266. It is open to students.

The Sunflower will have information about the results of the student fees hearings in future issues.  

 — For the editorial board, TJ Rigg