Illustration by Joaquin Kunkel

General Assembly Report

Discover what was discussed in the most recent General Assembly.

Apr 23, 2017

The General Assembly meeting on April 16 dealt primarily with Student Government funding guidelines regarding Student Interest Groups. The primary issue is that there are very limited guidelines as to how the funding committee should allocate funds to SIGs. Kelly Murphy, class of 2018 representative, who is also a member of the funding committee, led the discussion.
Murphy began by explaining how the funding committee has developed some makeshift guidelines over the past semesters. These guidelines underestimate the attendance for SIG events, allocate 10 AED for food per person for events and give less money to newer SIGs than to older ones. She then opened the floor for suggestions on how to improve and facilitate funding.
Anita Duskova, class of 2019 and president of the Equestrian SIG, described how more funding tends to be allocated for SIGs with significant and visible events that may last a single day than for SIGs that require professional training and support year-round. “Some events are more expensive but they last a few hours, but for some SIGs that money would go into developing a skill that will be useful in the future.”
Vic Lindsay, Assistant Director for Student Life, remarked that there is always a tradeoff between choosing to fund larger but shorter events that have become university traditions, and to fund sustained, perhaps more valuable, practices and lessons for fewer people.
Maitha AlMemari, class of 2018 and Vice President of Student Government, opined, “If there is student interest in professional skills, we should provide the opportunity for people to pursue them.” Rend Beiruti, class of 2017 and President of Student Government, suggested that the funding committee develop a skills-based SIG category to distinguish them from cultural SIGs, as they may require different methodologies for funding.
AlMemari also proposed that the same amount of money be allocated every year for the larger events that have now become traditions, such as the Pakistani Mock Wedding and Latino Night. She also recommended allocating some of the Student Government Executive Board’s funding for these large events. Murphy proposed that funding for these larger events be considered separate from the SIGs’ yearly budgets. She also suggested allocating a larger percentage of the money for the fall semester, as more students are on campus in the fall than in the spring. However, Lindsay stated that traditionally more money has been spent in the spring semester, as sometimes SIGs take time to settle in and organize events.
There were also discussions of establishing funding repercussions for SIGs for several reasons. AlMemari suggested that there be consequences for SIGs that submit their budgets late. Tami Gjorgjieva, class of 2019 representative, proposed that there be repercussions for SIGs that budget for large events that they do not end up hosting.
Paula Estrada is Deputy News Editor. Email her at
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