Jason C. Consolacion
Ed De La Garza
Christian Schmidt Keenan
Some people apparently think they're more special than everyone else:
drivers who cut across ditches instead of waiting in line to exit the interstate,
grocery shoppers who take
way too many items through the express lane, student organizations
that request emergency funding because they failed to plan ahead.
On Friday, three members of the Student Government Association senate
(President James Robertson Jr., Vice President Brandon Butler and Director
of Finance Temitope
Ayoola) asked for an extra $25,000 to get through the rest of their
They made the request to the Student Fees Advisory Committee, the group
that divvies up much-sought-after student fees each year between various
organizations on campus.
SGA isn't scheduled to present to SFAC until Tuesday. But at last week's
SGA meeting, Robertson announced he was planning to go in on the first
day of presentations to ask for
extra money because the senate doesn't have enough left to pay for
this semester's elections and inauguration. He didn't officially ask SFAC
if that was OK, though.
This isn't the first time SGA senate members have shown up to SFAC proceedings
uninvited. Once last semester and at least once this semester, Robertson
and other senators
interrupted the meetings and were allowed to speak — something that
probably would not be tolerated from any other campus organization.
So how is this being allowed to happen? Perhaps because five of the
nine SFAC voting members are SGA senators. When SGA's president comes in
to talk, the majority of
members vote to listen to him, even when other important topics have
to be sidelined.
It's a blatant conflict of interest, no matter how much the SGA senators
on SFAC deny they will give any preferential treatment.
Frank Luu, the SFAC chairman and an SGA senator, said he is "confident"
he'll "do the right thing" when it comes time to decide SGA's budget. But
how can he and other
senators be trusted to be unbiased then when they've already given
Robertson preferential treatment?
When SGA decides it is above the rules, that it doesn't have to spend
money within its given budget, that it can take up other people's valuable
time, that it can stack the deck in
its favor, someone needs to come forward and tell its members to start
living in reality. It has to abide by the same rules as everyone else.