SG Senate tables Program Board restructuring bill, rejects another

Student Government rejected a bill that would have made any purchase over $20,000 required by the SG president and vice president.

Photo courtesy of SG

Photo courtesy of SG

Nate Nkumbu, Contributing Writer

Two pieces of legislation were sources of conflict during the last Senate meeting, as two bills that would have put more power in the hands of the executive branch of Student Government failed to become law.

During a Senate meeting held Tuesday, the Program Board Restructuring Act (SGSSB 16-37) was tabled for the next Senate meeting and the Student Purchase Protection Act received six no votes.

SGSSB 16-37 would have moved Program Board out of the hands of individual campus governors and into the SG president’s administrative cabinet.

The legislation was prompted after discussions between Student Government and Program Board over a lack of communication, especially when it came to announcing and selecting artists for concerts.

Student Government Vice President Juliana Walters cites the Kesha concert as an example. According to Walters, the contract and money for Kesha was signed off before the president could have a final say.

SG Vice President-elect and author of the bill Kyle McDonald said that Program Board directly affects students and that this bill would fix communication issues.

“This bill would would keep everyone in the executive branch in the loop as to what programs are taking place and avoid any miscommunication issues that have been seen in the past,” he said.

The second legislation on the table, the Student Purchase Protection Act, would give the SG president and vice president power to sign off on any purchase over $20,000.

Richard Mahler, the assistant director for Student Activity and Involvement, said during the meeting that Student Affairs has checks and balances and that legislation for the president and vice president to sign off on purchase over complicates an already complicated process.

“Anything over $10,000 gets automatically sent to the vice president of student affairs [Corey King] and his chief financial officer for review,” Mahler said. “It’s hard enough for us to get the signatures needed and with the addition of two layers would make a complicated process more complicated.”

Mahler wrote that it was difficult to agree with SG about the Kesha concert failing to meet student expectations.

Artist selection was completed by Program Board, after significant assessment of the incoming freshman class during orientation,” he said. “It is my understanding that the members selected for positions within Program Board were entrusted to make those decisions. As the show sold out twice after adding more spaces for students.”

The assistant director added, “It is challenging to agree with the notion that the event failed or did not meet the needs of our student population.”

Nate Nkumbu is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @FoureyedNate.