Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Senate moves toward reform

The reformist tone established last week in the SGA Senate meeting carried over to Thursday night’s meeting as a united Senate unanimously passed reforms to the SGA Code of Laws.

Senators voted on the amendments authored and proposed last week by Ian Sams and other senators in response to the Pasadena, Calif., expenditures by SGA officials. Among these stood Senator Miriam Fry’s bill amending the language in the Code of Laws to more clearly define the rules regarding expenditures. With the amendment’s passage, the Code of Laws now holds that “any allocation of the Executive Council of more than $1,000 must be approved by the Senate.”

In addition, the Senate passed Sams’ measures to increase the transparency of the SGA. In all, five reform bills were unanimously passed.

“It’s very rare that you see such sweeping changes to the budgetary process, changed overwhelmingly,” Sams said. “I think what we saw tonight was a senate that was united behind the kind of changes that we need to see.”

“A more transparent SGA is the goal,” he said. “I think that more changes are on the way, and they’re going to be good things for all students on this campus.”

Also at the meeting was the unanimous passage of the Financial Affairs Committee’s funding allotments. In all, the SGA awarded approximately $17,701 to 11 different clubs and organizations on campus. Nine organizations had their requests tabled, or saved for later consideration. In all, the 20 organizations requested $29,519.53.

The African-American Gospel Choir had the most money allotted at $2,979 of their original $3,179 request. B’na Brith Hillel Foundation followed in terms of funding awarded at $2,075. Men’s lacrosse requested the most, $5,600, but was tabled.

Though appearing on the printout provided to senators to have requested no money at all, the FAC awarded Students for Sustainability $1,800. Senators said the group had incorrectly filled out the request form, but were awarded an appropriate amount for their request.

New business included two “Friend of the Senate” resolutions and a resolution encouraging students to partake in Higher Education Day.

“Higher Education Day is an opportunity for students from public universities all over the state of Alabama to travel to Montgomery to show that we deserve our fair share of education funding,” said Seth Morrow, SGA co-director for the Higher Education Partnership.

“As the education trust fund stands now, higher education is supposed to receive one-third of that money. Due to recent economic troubles and proration, we’re now only receiving about one-sixth or one-seventh of that,” Morrow said, noting the timely importance of Higher Ed day.

SGA Executive Vice President Meg McCrummen also announced a joint meeting next week with First Year Council, an SGA branch of 50 freshmen.

“First Year Council functions much as the Senate does…they are the voice of the freshmen in SGA,” McCrummen said. “They serve as the crucial link between students and administrators, but specifically focusing on freshman concerns.”

“This First Year Council has been exceptionally productive,” she said. “There are a lot of great leaders.”

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