FAC makes position changes

William Evans

The Financial Affairs Committee of the Student Government Association is tasked with distributing money to student organizations. According to language currently in the proposed SGA constitution, which goes to a student vote Tuesday, the FAC would remove the voices of leaders of minority student groups from its decision making, said Michael Forst, director of outreach for the SOURCE.

SGA Press Secretary Katie Breaseale said in an e-mailed statement that the SGA is pursuing an amendment to the proposed constitution that would restore the balance between groups on the committee present in the current constitution.

The FAC is structured so that four SGA Senators, three representatives of the SOURCE Board of Governors, a coordinating body that assists student groups, and three representatives of the Student Leaders Council, a group consisting of leaders from various student organizations, make decisions on the allocation of funds to student groups who submit requests for money from the FAC, according to the FAC’s funding guidelines.

Forst said the SGA constitution restructures this organization so that representatives from minority student groups such as the Black Student Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would be bumped from the Student Leaders Council of the committee.

“The FAC needs to remain how it was,” he said. “The SGA does not have the power or the responsibility to restructure the FAC.”

SGA Communications Director Ian Sams said the Constitutional Review Committee didn’t intend to cut groups out of the committee. Instead, the committee was trying to clean up the old constitution’s dated wording.

“We were reviewing the original constitution in committee and saw that the old constitution mentioned the Council of Presidents that’s no longer in existence,” Sams said. “Basically, we recognized that a group that is now defunct was given seats on the committee and we cut them from it.”

Breaseale said the newly proposed constitution, if left unchanged, would place six SGA members in the FAC while reducing the non-SGA presence in the committee to two representatives from the SOURCE.

She said after a recent review of the constitution, the SGA plans this week to amend the restructuring of the FAC.

“[T]he SGA is reviewing an amendment for spring elections making it five representatives from the SGA Senate Finance Committee, three from the SOURCE or coordinating body for student organizations and two appointees from the University Vice President of Student Affairs,” she said. “In the event of a tie, the SGA vice president of financial affairs will be the deciding vote.”

She said the SGA had a change of heart because of its commitment to the integrity of the FAC.

“After the review, we have come to believe that decreasing non-SGA presence on the FAC review board so dramatically would decrease the effectiveness of a board that, for years, has been unparalleled in its ability to empower student organizations through financial allocations,” she said.

The amendment would go through the proper channels of an SGA Senate two-thirds vote followed by a student body vote, she said.