SGA passes tentative budget
J. Fred Fox | reporter
Marcus Clem |editor in chief
In its first meeting of the fall, the Student Government Association (SGA) passed its budget for the academic year, although it is not yet a done deal.
Taylor Gravett, SGA president, postponed approving a budget for SGA last spring.
Now, SGA has voted in a temporary budget, in light of funding issues for its permanent staff.
Barbara Circle, SGA senior administrative assistant, currently is not slated to receive about $7,000 in benefits. To address this problem, SGA will convene a special Fee Council session to ask for an extra $7,000 allocation.
Assuming this request is granted, Gravett will then resubmit a budget for approval.
During the meeting, Carl Schmidt, a representative of the American Heart Association, spoke on a fundraiser run-walk event on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo.
Schmidt said he wants to challenge SGA members to support the creation of a PSU team for the event.
Scantrons held up
Changes are also due for the time-honored SGA provision of free Scantron test-taking forms to students in a program funded by privilege fee allocations.
Psychology majors, who use a special pink Scantron form for most classes, will no longer be able to get them from SGA.
The physics and chemistry departments have bought a new type of Scantron-reading machine that uses a more expensive type of form.
The departments requested about 3,500 for this year. Whether or not SGA will be able to supply those forms may depend on the course of debate in future meetings.
Several senators voiced concerns about the cost and said they had not been consulted about the equipment purchase or the special forms.
Some skepticism about the value of buying special forms just for these departments colored the debate on the subject, but a precise response to the departments’ request has not yet been decided.
A new year means new opportunities for programs and policies, and Alyssa Marsh proposed several concepts.
Marsh, SGA community affairs director, says she wants to pick up a previously stalled program to create an informative guide for would-be off-campus residents.
She presented an idea to designate a “sport-of-the-week” to promote student support of a broader culture of athletics.
Finally, she advocated for the expansion of the Gorilla Discount Program, which currently awards savings to students who show their ID’s at various area shops and restaurants.
Next meeting, a new SGA treasurer will be appointed. Ethan Scott, who held the position in the spring semester, will not be retained as SGA considers him disqualified on academic grounds.
Tadd Lucian, SGA legislative affairs director, announced plans to hold a legislative awareness event on state and national policy issues in the Campus Oval on Constitution Day, Oct. 17.
SGA recognized the winners of the Pitt Points scholarship program for the 2012-2013 academic year, Jacob Rudolph and Melissa Schmidt. Rudolph won $1,500 and Schmidt won $1,000.
The program awards scholarships to the students who accrue the most Pitt Points by presenting their student ID’s throughout the academic year at various campus events.