The Student Government Association (SGA) met in the Penmen Room on Tuesday, October 9, to swear in a new Vice President and discuss budget requests.
The meeting began at 5:06 p.m. with roll call and soon after, the swearing in of the new Vice President.
Tyler Provencher (’21), with a hoarse voice, took an oath to office, promising to serve in the interest of the SGA and the interest of SNHU.
The SGA moved into the Budget & Finance presentations to discuss several requests from different clubs.
First was the Psychology Association. They requested $7,835 to go to the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Conference. The Senate approved this request.
Next, the Budget & Finance officers presented the Accounting Society’s request. They asked for $9,351.20 to travel to the IMA Leadership Conference. This is where the meeting took a turn.
Senator Molly Graves motioned to approve the request and Senator Matthew Rubenstein (’19) seconded this notion. After minimal discussion, the Senate voted on the request and denied it.
Being the first budget denial of the semester, some SGA members seemed confused as to what to do from there. This provoked a discussion regarding why they should or shouldn’t have approved the Accounting Society’s request.
Senator Aisha Khiyaty (’21) expressed concern for how much money they had already spent this semester. Before approving the Psychology Association’s trip they had approximately $65,000 left in the budget.
“One of the things we have to realize is that we shouldn’t look at money as a problem,” Senator Cameron Kearney said. “We can’t tell them where they can go for a conference and where they can’t go. If their money fits within the budget for how many people are going, then they have reason to go.”
There was various criticism on the purpose of the conference. When presented, the main purpose given seemed to be networking. Some senators didn’t understand why the Accounting Society was going to a conference to network when networking is something you can do on your own time for free.
“I voted no because there’s nothing in the ‘why’ category that sounds specific to going to the conference,” said Senator Stefan Karlburg (’22).
“During the [Budget & Finance] meeting, it was really tough to distinguish it because their mission statement literally had networking in it,” Senator Sultan Akhter (’19) pointed out.
“I don’t understand why we’re having the discussion after we already voted,” said Senator Khiyaty.
At this point, flaws in the presentation itself were realized.
“I think there was a problem with making the PowerPoint. I don’t think they should have put networking in there because I can see why that would change your opinions,” said Senator Kearney.
Kearney continued, “They are [also] going for things that they can’t learn here, and yes, they’re going to be networking with people in the field, but there are breakout sessions that they’re a part of and workshops in which they would practice using the [skills]. And half of the people that are presenting to them actually sit down one-on-one and are able to talk with them. Obviously, It’s a little late to explain that, but now we know we’re going to have to change the slides a little bit.”
With that comment, the SGA moved into the next budget request.
The Gaming Club requested $10,710 to go to PAX East and they were approved.
The meeting adjourned at 6:44 p.m. after snapping to acknowledge each other.
The SGA meeting on October 9 was undeniably eventful. Much-needed discussions were carried out and they discovered flaws in their method of presentation that are to be remedied in the future.