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Volume 69, Issue 18, Thursday, September 18, 2003


SGA passes $119K budget at meeting

By Charity Halphen
The Daily Cougar

As part of a long agenda Student Government Association senators passed their organization's $119,004 budget for the 2003-2004 fiscal year during a Senate meeting Wednesday. Included in the budget is a provision to set aside $12,000 for the 41th administration when it takes over next year. 

That provision was heavily debated Tuesday night. When the 38th administration went over its budget, a decision to allocate $12,000 to the incoming administration was made. But because the 39th administration had an excess of $18,000, some senators wondered if the Student Fee Advisory Committee would cut the organization's funding in the future.

SGA Vice President Jon Quintanilla clarified how the surplus would be handled. 

Manuel Rearte/The Daily Cougar

SGA's Director of Finance Alan Ogunuyiwa checks his notes during an SGA meeting Wednesday night in the UC. The Senate passed the organization's $119,004 budget at the meeting, but worried that its funding may be cut because a balance of $18,000 had been carried forward from the last administration.

"The leftovers are placed in a pool for any budget over expense," Quintanilla said. "The money was used for senatorial issues, debates, shirts and town halls."

Zack Coapland, director of campus activities, suggested that in the future, SGA inform SFAC about where the budget will be allocated before it suffers any cuts. 

"When you don't use all of the money, SFAC has trouble giving more," Coapland said.

Business Sen. Zimuzo Agim introduced legislation requesting an improvement of the red emergency call boxes on campus before the end of the Fall 2003 semester after discovering that some of the boxes lack Global Positioning Systems that aid UHPD in locating distraught individuals. 

"Also, the lights on the boxes fail to stay lit until police arrive," Agim said. 

SGA also passed a bill introduced by Law Sen. Bobby Warren to seek and acquire a new web developer for the SGA Web site. 

"The site hasn't been updated since Nov. 2002," said Warren. "It's a shame that SGA lacks an appropriately updated Web site."

A contract is currently pending, but Warren called for that contract to be revoked due to SGA's failure to meet University policies.

Suggestions were made to recruit a student designer or create a position within SGA for a director of technology to oversee the development of the Web site.

As a response to the recent library fee hikes, SGA approved a bill requesting M.D. Anderson Library to shelve at least two copies of each required textbook for students. 

"Along with the space provided by the library expansion, from the fourth floor up there are many empty shelves to hold these new textbooks," said Natural Science and Mathematics Sen. Mohamad Halawi. 

Because SGA President Dawona Miller was absent, the Senate allowed Quintanilla to assume the presidential responsibility of approving newly selected University committee members. 

Honors College student Matt Bell was appointed and sworn in by the Senate to fill the open Honors College seat.

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