The general assembly of student government voted 8-7, approving a friendly amendment to limit funding to registered student organizations (RSOs) that do not have student government representation.
Beginning this semester, RSOs without a member in the general assembly of student government will be restricted to receiving 35 percent per line item of their requested travel funding from the finance division. Previously, RSOs received 50 percent per line item for travel funding.
“In the RAA, it states that what is learned on the travel event must be brought back to educate and benefit the student body as a whole,” Public Relations Specialist Carman Plank said. “By passing the amendment, we are allowing RSOs a way to get the information out about what they learned on their travel.”
Recent Ferris biochemistry graduate and College of Arts and Sciences Student Government Senator Joseph Letavis proposed the friendly amendment to be added to student government’s governing document, the Rules of Appropriation and Allocation (RAA). The portion of Letavis’ amendment that was not approved included limiting funding to 75 percent per item for event funding. This would be difficult to arrange as the Career Center for Leadership Activities and Services currently deals with checks for event funding, according to Operations Analyst Deanna Goldthwait.
Letavis presented this amendment at the last student government meeting on Dec. 3, 2013.
“[RSOs] should become a part of student government so they can provide their own voice and get full funding,” Letavis said.
The general assembly of student government deliberated the amendment with a split in views. Members in student government questioned whether approving the amendment should have waited for more discussion. Others believed this change would allow for more transparency.
Student government member Aaron Wyse spoke about the student activity fee (SAF). Students pay $20 to the finance division and $1 to student government.
“It’s like your money is not available to you unless you join student government,” Wyse said.
According to Plank, student government is in a unique position because of a new president mid-year. Student government can make changes to the RAA every time a new president is inducted. Andrew Kalinowski was inducted as student government president on Dec. 3.
“If it were to not work out, we will be able to change it at the end of the semester,” Plank said.
Entertainment Unlimited receives $100,000 per year and Club Sports receive $50,000 per year from the student activity fee. Both will remain exempt from the new requirement.
Ferris junior chemistry major Jared Fedewa is not in any RSOs but said he thinks the change is a “reasonable requirement.”
“It doesn’t seem like it should be too difficult for any RSO to find at least one member who would be willing to join the student government,” Fedewa said. “It also seems that it could help keep the RSOs updated on current issues while giving them some say in student government affairs.”