SGA introduces budget bill, wage resolution
Last week’s Student Government Association saw the 60th administration officially introduce its annual budget bill. The bill, which senators are hoping will go to a vote Sept. 6, details the organization’s revenue and anticipated expenses for the 23-24 academic year.
Where past budget bills have been met with criticism for being too vague or lacking detail, SGA President Benjamin Rizk hopes this year’s bill will be the most exhaustive yet.
“I have created a budget that is as detailed as possible so we will be able to know exactly how much money we’ll be able to allocate towards each sector,” Rizk said.
Another major difference in this year’s budget is the reintroduction of Cougar Cash cards for students experiencing food insecurity. The 60th administration has set aside $2500 to purchase 25 cards valued at $100 each. These will be distributed to qualifying students through SGA’s office coordinator.
In addition to the budget bill, a first read was done for the Resolution Supporting Higher Wages for Lower-Income Campus Staff. In sum, the resolution is a show of support for staff council efforts to increase the minimum wage.
“Inflation has done a lot for a lot of people and has made it more difficult to survive,” Rizk said. “Frankly, many other tier-one universities that are trying to advance their institution have minimum wages that are a lot higher, so I feel this is not something that is hard to ask for.”
SGA is also creating the Sustainable Campus Task Force to compile their plans for the coming year. They intend to reduce the use of single-use plastics, educate the campus on proper disposal of waste and reduce energy waste.
“This is a great way to get students involved because non-SGA students can be a part of this,” said Speaker of the Senate Sophia Wilson. “Students who care about a specific issue, like recycling, are able to get involved without being an official member of SGA.”
Wilson also presented the Student Government Action Regarding Mandatory Public Engagement which details how SGA plans on engaging with the student body. This includes tabling, giving surveys and meeting with deans of colleges to engage with the diverse population on campus.
Looking forward, SGA has many plans for involvement during Weeks of Welcome on campus, as volunteering at campus events is prioritized.
“It’s important to show presence, not just for the sake of being there to fulfill a duty, but to be able to interact with students,” Rizk said. “Weeks of Welcome is extremely important because it’s our chance to show incoming freshmen and transfers that student government is here.”