SGA strives for transparency, spent little of allocated budget

News Editor

Last September, the St. Edward’s Student Government Association unanimously passed legislation to create greater openness and transparency between the association and the student body. To implement this legislation SGA wants to communicate their activities, goals and semester budget with students through social media, formal meetings and other media outlets.

Every year SGA is allotted $11,100 from Student Life, which they must budget and use appropriately throughout the year, Senator Manisha Verma said.    

“The money that we’ve spent benefits the student body and adds to bettering their experience at St. Edward’s University,” Verma said. 

Verma wrote the bill, which was passed on Sept. 26, 2013, after receiving feedback from students who wanted to know more about what SGA does for the student body. 

“Students approached me wanting to know more about what SGA allocates their funds toward,” Verma said.

The graphic included here illustrates SGA’s expenses for legislation and communication during the Fall 2013 semester. The largest external expense that directly benefited students was for Public Forum and cost $208.35. Public Forum is  an event SGA sponsored last October to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions about potential changes on campus.

The remainder of SGA’s expenses are attributed to internal affairs which help SGA operate effectively, Verma said.  These include a training for new senators and supplies like name tags and shirts, President Octavio Sanchez said.

“I want the student body to know that SGA thoroughly plans out the budget before the school year begins to ensure that we spend our budget in an efficient manner that best benefits the students,” Student Government Association Chief of Staff George Kuhle said.

This semester SGA has yet to spend additional money, but the association plans to use funds for future legislation, the Big Event and the alumni mixer.

SGA estimates that they will spend $2,100 on the alumni mixer, which is an event designed to connect graduating seniors with recent alumni working in various fields. Additionally, SGA expects to spend $3,200 on their annual campus-wide community service day, the Big Event. These funds will be used for food, supplies and transportation, Verma said.

Any funds allocated to SGA that go unused do not roll over to the next administration at the end of the school year, Associate Director of Student Life Carey Mays said.     

Student Life determined that SGA would receive $11,100 by looking at the amount of funds needed in previous years and discussing the budget with SGA senators. SGA usually spends close to the full amount allocated for each school year, Mays said.