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February 24, 2009 11:53 am

SGA Urges Campus to Vote on All-Student Referendum

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You might have heard a lot recently about the SGA All Student Referendum that is going on from Sunday February 22 through Wednesday February 25th. Wondering what it’s all about? Well here is a bit more information for you.

This referendum was created in response to a significant amount of concerns raised to a number of SGA representatives regarding the current financial crisis. Specifically, we were hearing two things: 1. Concerns about student’s ability to pay for things ranging from tuition payments to rent payments 2. Concerns about the recent budget cuts for the academic departments.

In a show of solidarity with the rest of the campus community the SGA decided to cut our own budget by $15,000 and donate this back to the college for the use of the academic departments. This money will not affect club or programming funding at all. The areas where we have decided to cut are as follows:

-Copier and Rental Supplies:    $600.00
-Executive Board Constituent Outreach: $1,100.00
-Leadership Conference (Executive Board):  $5,500.00
-Senator Constituent Outreach:   $1,800.00
-Helium Rental: $250.00
-Office Supplies: $2,200.00
-Publicity Committee: $1,050.00
-Capital Resources Committee: $2,000.00
-Technology Committee (Club Room Tech): $500.00

Although these funds are traditionally unspent, any money that might be needed to cover these costs may still be obtained by petitioning the SGA Senate through a bill.

In addition to this budget cut, the SGA would also like to donate $20,000, out of our (approximately) $150,000 carry-over account, to the College for the Emergency Assistance Fund. This fund was created to give monetary assistance to students who have “a sudden, drastic change in their financial situation.”

Last Tuesday, the SGA voted unanimously to support these donations. In addition, we voted to approve putting this decision in the hands of the entire student body. With this, we hope that we can make a unified and collective decision on how we, the student body, will approach the rough financial times ahead.

Finally, if the referendum is passed, the SGA will then issue a challenge to the alumni and donors of the College to match our donation. Before we can do any of this however we must vote. The referendum will not be considered valid until 30% of the student body votes on this referendum. Whether you vote in favor of or opposed to the referendum please please vote on the issue!! Anyone can vote on Blackboard any time of day! If you have any questions about the voting process, email Parliamentarian Adam Matthai at almatthai@smcm.edu.

Best of luck with your classes!

By Sunny Schnitzer, SGA President

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