SGA modifies finance code

by Jason Staker

The Student Government Association is currently revising parts of its constitution, including sections governing finances.

“Approximately two years ago, SGA began a major evaluation and overhaul of its constitution,” SGA Advisor Rich Ramos said. “The document is still in flux and is still evolving.”

Questions about the financial code of SGA arose two weeks ago when the International Student Organization was denied its request for money to be donated to the Red Cross. Senior Eric Elben, student body president, says the decision is not unprecedented.

“Habitat for Humanity asked for $2000 last year and was denied,” Elben said. “We do not fund charities; student funds go to student groups.”

Freshman Nathan Arentsen, who spoke on behalf of ISO to the senate, said communication with SGA prior to a request for funding is crucial to clearing up any questions.

“I feel strongly that anyone who intends to submit a request for money should speak with senators and SGA leadership long before their appearance,” Arentsen said. “This is essential not only to good clarification but it also makes passage of a request more likely.”

Revisions to SGA’s constitution are nothing new. Elben says the process is ongoing and incidents such as this one only show where more work is needed.

“We were already in the process of changing the code,” Elben said. “There are some things this year we’ve already noticed. We are looking at the documents and internal affairs had recommended changes.”

Elben said the goal of these changes it not to portray SGA as a cold-hearted organization.

“We do everything to make a charity drive a success,” Elben said. “That’s where we feel we can do the best.”

Some students agree that SGA’s role is to give money to students, not charity.

“If people really want to give money they would just give money,” sophomore Patrick Carlson said. “We pay money to the school and the school gives it to student government and student government is supposed to spend the money on us.”