Student government approves funds, committee chairs at last meeting

The Downtown student government Senate passed every funding proposal it received at its meeting on Friday, bringing the budget for the remainder of the school year down to at a total of $48,587.95 (Jessica Zook/DD)

The Senate passed every funding proposal it received at the Downtown student government Senate meeting Friday.

Between seven funding requests, the Senate allocated a total of $6,323.37, bringing the budget for the remainder of the school year down to at a total of $48,587.95.

The remainder of the 48-minute meeting consisted of committee chair appointments, various updates from government members and a brief update from an Arizona Students’ Association representative on Pell Grants.

The Senate nominated and approved Senate Leader Zack Lindsay and School of Nutrition and Health Promotion Sen. Eneida Shqalsi as co-chairs of the Causes Committee. The co-chair appointments were unanimously approved, with the exception of the nominees’ abstentions.

The Causes Committee co-chairs were supposed to have been approved at the previous meeting, but Lindsay was out of town, which delayed the nominations.

Lindsay and Shqalsi already had two committee meetings to discuss objectives before they were appointed co-chairs.

During the meeting, Director of Parliamentary Procedures Andres Cano said the Buy Local, Be Local Food Truck Fiesta is on-track for its Nov. 8 debut.

“We’re very much looking forward to beginning the conversation with Downtown students about supporting local businesses,” Cano said. “The response from both the students and the businesses themselves has been very supportive.”

ASA Director Taylor McArthur gave his time to Robyn Nebrich, executive director of ASA, to discuss potential cuts to Pell Grants.

Nebrich spoke about the threats Pell Grants are facing with increasing budget deficits at the state and federal level.

She said 186 students on the Downtown campus have signed papers supporting Pell Grants. ASA has been distributing statements of support around the state – including at Senate meeting on Oct. 21.

Nearly 50,000 of these statements have been signed nation-wide, Nebrich said.

Of the seven funding requests granted at Friday’s meeting, only one was adjusted from the original amount.

The Spanish and Cultures Club initially requested $500 to buy 50 shirts for its members. The Senate has set a limit this year at $7 per shirt for funding. After the Budget Allocation Committee meeting on Wednesday, the club agreed to have their members each pay $3 for their shirts, bringing the allocated funds down to $350.

All but one request passed unanimously, with no alterations and with little or no debate.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals requested $248 to send a member to Collective Impact, a conference on sustainability.

Active Minds requested $604 for Freak Out for Finals, a planned event that, according to the group’s funding request form, is intended to provide students with “activities to help reduce stress” and to “promote relaxations such as exercise, crafts and socialization.”

The funds for Freak Out for Finals will also cover educational information on mental health from the NP Healthcare Clinic.

The Barrett Leadership and Service Team, Downtown requested $668.61 for shirts and bags and a cost of $4.17 per shirt and $1.95 per bag with additional costs for shipping, handling, and tax.

DPC Aware requested $863 to buy 3,000 condoms and brochures to students, which the funding request form stated are meant “to help educate the students to live a safe and healthy lifestyle.” Brochures the group will purchase are on the topics of healthy eating, the relationship between alcohol consumption and STDs, dating violence and safe sex.

M.E.Ch.A. de ASU Centro requested money on Oct. 7 for a variety of products, including condoms, but their request was cut over several weeks from $19,730 to $7,300.

Senate members said DPC Aware has a more definite plan to distribute condoms by tabling every Wednesday, will be getting the condoms at a lower price and are giving out a brochure with the condom, rather than just the condom itself.

Senior Year Experience requested $1,600, covering part of the $3,600 cost of an “Etiquette Dinner.” In the funding request, SYE Vice President Adam Ferrero said seniors will have a stronger incentive to attend the event with the per-student price drop from $36 to $5.

The final request was from the Parks and Recreation Student Association, which asked for $1,989.76 to coordinate the screening of the documentary “Pedal-Driven: A Bike-umentary.” Catering is the main expense for the event, which has covered many of its costs through donations. This request was met with one nay, but passed.

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Correction: November 16, 2011

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the Downtown student government Senate unanimously approved every funding request it received. The final request at the meeting received one nay.