Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass SGA handles finances at weekly meeting

The SGA granted over $20,000 of emergency funding to men’s club soccer, discussed FY24 budget
Dylan Nguyen/Daily Collegian (2022)

On Wednesday evening, the University of Massachusetts Student Government Association voted to grant emergency funding to men’s club soccer and discussed their upcoming fiscal year 2024 budget.

The funding will be used to fund the team’s travel expenses for the 2022 National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association National Soccer Championship in Round Rock, Texas from Nov. 17-19.

According to Harry Kessel and Daniel Wiener, co-captains of the club soccer team, the team was one of four selected from a lottery of 23 teams. They explained that the funding request would cover “hotel fees, flight costs and rental vans.”

“UMass men’s club soccer is committed to providing a competitive soccer environment for players who have stepped away from or decided not to play for a varsity program,” Wiener said.

This will be the first time in the club’s history that they will be attending the association’s national championship.

Registered student organizations can issue budget requests to the SGA for overall program costs. However, RSOs can also request emergency funding from the finance subcommittee.

Secretary of Finance Joshua Gauthier led a discussion on the proposed SGA budget request for FY24. He noted how difficult the process has been for budget reviewers in the past. To maintain quorum and retention, Gauthier proposed $15 an hour for each member of Ways and Means, equaling roughly $2,100 per member. The budget review would consist of six members.

“The job requires almost 10 hours a week and just a bunch of reviewing meetings during the spring and the fall semesters,” Gauthier said.

He also proposed summer payroll for SGA leadership, which he noted would range between $400 and $900 depending on the position. RSO Council Presidents will also be paid additional hours for the budget season.

The Ways and Means Chair, currently budgeted at 15 hours a week, would be raised to 17.5 hours per week and 20 hours per week in the fall and spring semesters respectively. Ways and Means Chair Ian Harvey noted that he has worked more than 20 hours per week despite only being paid for the 15.

Gauthier also proposed eliminating one of the conduct advisors to budget for a paid deputy attorney general. The pay would amount to 10-12 hours a week for 14 weeks of the semester.

Finally, Gauthier discussed the SGA’s “Discretionary Fund” which, “allows the president and the speaker to do projects and different initiatives.” Gauthier proposed increasing the discretionary fund, which is currently broken down into $20,000 – $10,000 for the SGA as a whole and $5,000 each for the speaker and the president.

The new proposal would allocate $40,000 – $20,000 for the SGA as a whole and $10,000 for the speaker and the president. The fund has been used previously for cultural nights, the SGA ball and the SGA’s bikeshare program.

According to Gauthier, last year’s request amounted to roughly $330,000 for executive operations. This year’s projected budget would be around $340,000, including payroll.

“SGA is committed to efficient use of financial resources,” Gauthier said. “Our first priority is to the students: with an increased budget we can further support that mission. A more comprehensive and competent SGA starts with being adequately funded.”

Gauthier then led a brainstorming discussion with the SGA regarding budget requests. Topics mentioned included more support for cultural nights, a leadership retreat, an Earth Day sustainability event and additional professional staff members for student services.

SGA leadership also discussed the incident involving a student of color and the UMass Police Department. When questioned about potential consequences of the UMPD officers, President Shayan Raza noted that he has not received, “any indication from the Chancellor or the Vice Chancellor about what those repercussions might look like.”

“But rest assured myself, SGA leadership… we’re all going to be pretty strong in our push to make sure that people who are found accountable should be held accountable by the University,” Raza said.

“I am disturbed and frustrated,” said Clare Sheedy, speaker of the SGA. “Please do know that we are staying on top of this and also doing a lot of advocacy because none of us are happy, and I personally am not super content with the response that was given.”

Sheedy explained that the SGA had previously engaged in discussion with administration and UMPD surrounding officer bodycams which, according to Sheedy, are not required to be worn by UMPD officers due to push back from the police union.

SGA also voted to appoint Carol DeRose, a sophomore studying Political Science and Natural Resources Conservation. She previously served as a senator in the SGA, but with Associate Speaker Jackie Fallon’s appointment as interim chair of the Finance Committee, she was chosen to serve as Fallon’s special assistant. Among her duties, DeRose will serve as an ex-officio member of the Administrative Affairs Committee, which she previously served on as senator.

Alex Genovese can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @alex_genovese1.

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