SGA votes on budget at first official meeting of the year

Garrett Edmonds, Executive Vice President for SGA, discusses with fellow cabinet members events at their meeting on Feb 18, 2020.

Jacob Latimer

SGA held the first official senate meeting of the semester Tuesday with the new leadership.

There was an orientation held just before the meeting to get newly-elected senators accustomed to the SGA meeting process. The meeting was held in-person, but attendees were given the option to join via Zoom.

The meeting started with the speaker of the senate election. The two candidates were Shelby Robertson and Brenna Matthews.

After each candidate gave a speech outlining their campaign, the senate voted via Google Forms, and Shelby Robertson was elected speaker of the senate.

The main agenda for this week’s meeting was voting on the budget. A budget had to be agreed on before the meeting could adjourn.

SGA President Garrett Edmonds outlined this year’s budget, putting emphasis on the $6,000 that will go towards the Projects Fund this year. Edmonds stated that $1,000 of this will go towards Housing and Residence Life to provide PPE for their residents.

Edmonds mentioned a project for this year that would expand the “Go with the Flow” program, which provides menstrual hygiene products across campus. He stated that he would like to put some sort of dispenser for these products in Pearce Ford Tower and that this would take up a large majority of the Projects Fund budget.

After Edmonds outlined the budget for this year, Senator MJ Mayo challenged the allocation of funds towards senate members’ payment compared to the payment of committee chairs. She asked Edmonds if he felt that his budget outline held a fair balance.

“As president, and as someone who served as executive vice president for two years, if I factored all of the time that I took off work for committee meetings, budget meetings, and things like that, and broke down my stipend, I wouldn’t even make minimum wage,” Edmonds said.

According to Edmonds, all senate stipends were reduced to put more money towards the Project Fund except for the president, executive vice president and administrative vice president.

After a vote to move past debate and a vote on the budget, the budget was passed with 28 “yes” votes and five “no” votes.

To view the budget plan for this year, visit SGA’s website.

Jacob Latimer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jacoblatimer_.