SGA Revises Spot Funding Policy

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Tighter and more restrictive spot-funding guidelines were approved at the Student Government Association meeting on Wednesday.

After tabling the new guidelines for a week and much after much debate, Senators voted on the new spot-funding guidelines for Chartered Student Organizations. The new guidelines added new amendments and modifications to make them more fiscally responsible and to have tighter allocation of spot funds to CSOs

“These guidelines were not changed last year, and the finance committee and SGA wanted to find a way allocate spot funds more responsibly,” Financial Vice President Jonathan Serpas said

The new spot-funding guidelines were tightened after spot-funds were at their lowest amount in the past few years. Serpas said that spot-funds were “around $80,000” currently.

The new guidelines include spot-funding definitions for conferences, internal social events, non-fundable social events and tournaments for all CSOs. Also, the new spot-funding guidelines add some general items that fall under non-funding items like direct donations to charity and indirect donations to charity, except for organizations whose primary purpose is charitable.

A new amendment was made to include spot-funding provisions for regional and national travel. The amendment was proposed by the Flats senator Krishi Peddada in order to include spot-funding guidelines for club sports teams and other CSOs that travel outside of St. Louis for events.

According to the new amendment, SGA could use up to $180 per person in spot-funding for groups traveling over 350 miles (national travel) and could use up to $30 per person in spot-funding for groups that are traveling 51-350 miles (regional travel). Groups still have to fund at least 40 percent of their travel costs. The amendment passed.

As the spot-funding debate continued, Graduate School senator Andrew Sova proposed an amendment to remove graduate school organizations from spot funding guidelines. The proposed amendment was created so graduate school organizations were not subject the guidelines that CSOs have to follow.

Other senators questioned whether the proposed amendment was legal by SGA constitutional procedure. Other senators were afraid that this proposed amendment would impede finances for the current year and the work of the finance committee.

The proposed amendment was rejected. The amendment was then re-introduced by School of Law senator Grant Farnsworth, but the amendment was rejected again.

Senators continued to speak about creating these guidelines to be more fiscally responsible because of the discrepancy in the remaining spot funding they had as compared to previous years. After a one-hour discussion, the new guidelines were passed.

At Wednesday’s meeting, four new senators were appointed and nine senators officially took their oath of office to become SGA senators.

SGA also passed new governing rules and parliamentary procedures. A major change is that questions and debate are now in separate time slots.

SGA also amended their bylaws on having a senator serve as a representative on the University’s Board of Trustees for Mission and Ministry.

SGA also seated a food service and an information-concerns committee.