Andy Koonce plans to increase the Student Government Association budget, as well as make the funds more readily available to a larger number of student organizations. The current chairman of the SGA Senate Committee on Resolutions and junior marketing major is one of two candidates for the vice president for Financial Affairs for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Koonce’s platform, which he calls the “T.I.D.E. Plan,” focuses on the following four keywords: transparency, increase, develop and engage.
“I know transparency is kind of the buzz word with SGA now, but I plan on disclosing and being precise with disclosing the SGA finance with the budget and the expenditures on the website,” he said, “and doing it as soon as possible. There’s no need to wait on letting students know where the $600,000-plus SGA budget is going. That’s of huge importance to me.”
Koonce proposes the release of an itemized budget to make students aware of exactly where funds are allocated.
“I definitely would be interested in putting, ‘This went to this, this went to this, this and this’ so that you know we’re not spending the money on 200 million pencils, just stupid stuff,” he said.
Koonce also hopes to develop a system to add to this $600,000 budget total each year in accordance with increases in student population at the University, eliminating the need to petition for more assets when the need arises. He specifically plans to use the increased money supply to bolster scholarship funds for current and future students.
“We need to add more money to the scholarship fund,” he said, “to give more hardworking students more financial peace of mind.”
More money should also be directed to student organizations on campus, Koonce said. Many groups are not taking full advantage of the funds available for their use and aims to make more clubs aware of the resources available to them, as well as streamline the acquisition process.
“Over 450 SOURCE-registered student groups are eligible for [Financial Affairs Committee] funding, and as of Jan. 31, only 21 percent of the funding had been given out,” Koonce said. “So, I am planning on engaging student groups by contacting presidents and talking to sponsors and making sure that they know, ‘Look, this money is at your fingertips. All you have to do is come and ask for it. We want to help you, and we want to be a resource to you.”
Koonce feels the relationships and experience he has gained from his time as an SGA senator have prepared him for success in the vice presidential role.
“Being a two-term senator, I have gained relationships within the SGA office. Within the Financial Affairs community, I would say a majority of the people running that now could be a potential executive member if I were elected. So, I have a great relationship with them.”
Koonce, who asserted he has received no Machine backing for his campaign, said he is more than a member of a fraternity and is prepared to represent the diverse student body.
“Am I a member of a fraternity? Yes. Am I a member of SGA? Yes. Am I a member of Culverhouse ambassadors? Yes. I’m not just a greek member,” he said. “I represent five different areas of campus, just that I can remember off the top of my head.”