Student Senate discussed the recognition status of three groups on Wednesday night. The first organization was the Student Organization Leadership Consultants (SOLC), secondly the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and lastly The Good Five Cent Cigar. Senate also voted on the budgeting of all organizations on campus.
SOLC is an organization on campus that focuses on facilitating retreats for other student run groups on campus. The bill to re-recognize SOLC as an unfunded organization was hotly debated and eventually supported 27 to 3 with one abstaining. The group in the past was recognized as a funded affiliate, however, due to their academic ties they are now an unfunded organization. Senate saw that the SOLC class along with the SOLC club meeting at the same time was a clear violation of their bylaws which states, “an academically affiliated organization shall be defined as a group whose purpose is to supplement the mission and/or goals of an academic college, department, major, or program…”
The bill proposed by the SOARC Chair, Austin Cordova, said to recognize the ACLU as a funded organization. However, there was debate on whether this group is considered political which could then jeopardize Student Senates 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Senate came to the conclusion that they do not have enough knowledge on the tax laws that restrict them from funding a political organization, so they decided to table the bill and vote on the ACLU’s funding status next meeting.
The last group that came to the meeting was The Good Five Cent Cigar. The group came to request that the newscast position receive a stipend. They argued that to be recognized as a modern news organization, multi-media has to be a component in how they produce content. However, too many members of Student Senators left the room during the discussion resulting in not enough Senators being able to vote. When a Senator leaves the room during discussion on a bill, they are not permitted to vote, so Senate did not have a ⅔ majority needed to vote on the bill. Due to this, the bill was tabled to vote on next Senate meeting.
The budgeting process includes going through a spreadsheet consisting of all organizations on campus and their budgets for the fiscal year of 2018-19. All organizations were successfully budgeted with little to no debate.
Towards the end of the Student Senate meeting, Zachary Taylor, the current Chief Information Officer (CIO) was nominated to be the next Finance Chair. Samantha King, the current Finance Chair nominated and endorsed him for this position. While Student Senators were asking the nominee questions about the position, it was suggested that the elections for the meeting be tabled until the next Student Senate meeting.